When the Rt. Rev. Stephen Bosomtwe Ayensu raised his head above the parapet in a restive political terrain, he did not expect not to be fired upon by those for whom his concerns about Ghana were unpalatable.
The Methodist Bishop of the Obuasi Diocese ventured where other members of the clergy have decided to steer clear from, apprehensive of the acerbic tongues of government salaried hounds for who the cassock is fair game for firing upon, if that can save the face of their paymasters.
Those who were fortunate to listen to the Man of God in the twilight of last week as he laid out his concerns, indeed mirroring the stance of most Ghanaians, he reminded scholars of church history, and what those before him endured in the formative years of the church in restive parts of the world. Call it good governance theology and you would be on track, we can bet.
The Obuasi-based clergyman had stirred the hornet’s nest when he called upon the President to tackle the self-inflicted problems that are staring the country in the face, triggering refrains such as “boys abre”.
No sooner did he express his concerns than he was descended upon and tagged a member of the opposition NPP, unsurprisingly. It was a déjà vu affair and so was laughed over by watchers of local politics.
In addition, someone pointed out that the church he belonged to had failed to pay the rent due on a billboard the Methodist Church had erected in the outskirts of Obuasi. How petty in a country which prides herself as being ahead of others in the geopolitical neighborhood of West Africa.
These days, many of his kind have opted for a place on the fence, as the ship of state flounders.
The expression of concern from the pulpit is the last thing neither government nor its minders would tolerate: they are ready to defy convention and swear at the anointed regardless of the fallouts.
We were thrilled as did many others when the clergyman revisited his remarks a day after the epistle and stated that Godliness is about speaking the truth and calling the attention of those at the helm to watch out when their performance is not up to scratch.
The remark is coming at a time when some think, erroneously of course, that the church has no business rebuking political leadership when this is premised on a sound conclusion.
The church would be shirking a critical responsibility when it folds its arms as members of its congregations suffer the tribulations flowing from bad governance.