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By Failing to Criticize Mr. Addo Christian Religious Leaders Are Failing Their Congregants

By all measures, Ghana is a very conservative society. Ghanaians, by and large, are unquestionably religious; in fact, religion is an integral part of our lives.

We place a special premium on our relationship with the creator. And, we wear our religious colors unapologetically. Our faith is manifested daily but especially so on Fridays and Sundays when we troop to worship houses — mosques and churches — to pray and give thanks to the almighty.

We have always reposed our faith and hope in our religious leaders. We expect them to lead and guide us through both good and bad times.

So, be that as it may, when our religious leaders dabble in politics, we endorse the move wholeheartedly.  Because they do so with the stated purpose of projecting social justice which ultimately entails fighting for and protecting the poor and the marginalized in Ghanaian society.

It is important to stress that the contributions of our religious leaders to the political discourse and public conversation on national issues are immeasurable.

We give our religious leaders a vast leeway or latitude to scrutinize, criticize and keep the political system transparent and in tune with our hopes and aspirations.

To this end, we expect our religious leaders to be neutral, non-partisan and not bow to the whims and caprices of political entities at the expense of Ghanaians. Their criticism of the political system should be fair and balanced.

Unfortunately, our religious leaders have not always stuck to the law of neutrality; the fact of the matter is that they have crossed the line on several occasions by  shouting on the mountain top when one political party was in power and inexplicably refusing to say a word when another political party is now in control of our national affairs.

Leading religious figures have regrettably abandoned their role of being neutral observers in the political system and have instead brazenly taken sides. This is deeply problematic.

How can we forget the exploits of some so-called men of God who literally threw their fortunes with the current administration when it was languishing in opposition?

And how can we easily brush aside the animosity and unhinged proclamations of the former moderator of the Presbyterian Church, Reverend Emmanuel Martey.

During John Mahama’s tenure as president of the Republic. Mr. Martey was loud, relentless and visceral in his criticism. There was no policy put forward by Mahama that the reverend did not find fault with.

Mr. Martey’s defense or explanation for his rather unbridled criticism was that he was performing a public duty. Nothing wrong with being a good and responsible citizen of the land.

But in the last three years of the Akuffo Addo administration, Reverend Martey has abandoned his civic and religious responsibilities. He has strangely lost his once vociferous and booming voice.

Amid the poor governance, corruption and other acts of malfeasance patently obvious in the administration, the reverend Martey has been MIA; Missing in Action. His silence is all the more egregious when you consider his recent call to religious groups to avoid politics.

The nerve of Mr. Martey to ask others not to engage in the very game he joyfully and profitably participated in.

Marching in lockstep with Reverend Martey in terms of abject hypocrisy is the Catholic Bishops Conference of Ghana which shamelessly asserted that it does not publicly criticize the Addo administration because it does so behind closed doors.

Ridiculous! My question to the Bishops is this: You weren’t shy about washing Mahama’s dirty linen in public. Why are you exempting the current government from public ridicule?

What is so special about the Addo administration that it does not merit public flogging for policies that are slowly strangling Ghanaians?

Both Mr. Martey and the Catholic Bishops are suffering from selective amnesia. Their hypocrisy is simply incomprehensible, and it explains why many Ghanaians now view Christian religious leaders with a lot of reservation and describe them as charlatans and frauds.