Ghanaians have lost confidence in gov’t – Christian Council

President John Mahama

President John Mahama

The Christian Council of Ghana has said Ghanaians have lost confidence in government and President John Dramani Mahama.

This was contained in a communiqué issued after a meeting with the heads of churches, organizations and executive committee members.

The statement said, “the current economic situation in the country is worsening the livelihoods of our people and has become unbearable”

It further stated that “government’s assurances and efforts at improving the economy and the livelihoods of Ghanaians must be backed with real evidence in the lives of our people.”

Government has come under criticisms for the worsening economic situation the country is facing, which has seen a significant depreciation of the cedi, high inflation, erratic power supply, high cost of living among others.

An economist and former governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia recently described Ghana’s economy as a “crises situation.”

The communiqué signed by the General Secretary Rev. Dr. Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong also called on the government to fulfill its obligations of paying statutory funds on time.

Below is the full communiqué from the Council

Adopted at the Joint Heads of Churches/Organizations and Executive Committee Meeting of the Christian Council of Ghana held at its Secretariat on September 9, 2014.

We, the Heads of Churches/Organizations and Executive Committee members of the Christian Council of Ghana, having met on September 9, 2014 at the Secretariat of the Council, Accra;

Having discussed issues pertaining to the socio-economic development of our dear nation;

Acknowledging our prophetic role as development partners, which imposes a responsibility on us to continue to support nation building efforts and hold government accountable for the well-being of every citizen of this country; while promoting national dialogue around the search for policies and strategies towards the economic growth, prosperity and peace of our people;

To this end, we declare;

That, the current economic situation in the country is worsening the livelihoods of our people and has become unbearable;

That, government’s assurances and efforts at improving the economy and the livelihoods of Ghanaians must be backed with real evidence in the lives of our people;

That, every Ghanaian should support the government in finding a lasting solution to our current challenges;

That, we must come together as one people with a common destiny to develop this great country of ours and eschew partisanship in the way and manner we handle national issues;

That, the Ghanaian interest (national interest) and the dignity of the Ghanaian (Ghanaian dignity) must be at the centre of our efforts and national engagements;

That, we believe strongly that Ghana can rise again to become the shining example of Africa;

To this end, we ask:

Ebola Virus Disease
That, we have taken note of government’s commitment to the fight against the Ebola disease;

That, the Ministry of Health quickly sets up isolation/treatment centres in all the 10 Regions of Ghana;

That, the Ministry of Health should quickly train and resource community health workers to be able to detect the virus for early treatment;

That, government must train and equip health professionals with the needed logistics to be able to handle persons infected by the virus from their homes;

That; the Ministry of Health and the Inter-Ministerial Committee should bring on-board religious leaders in its efforts at effectively responding to the disease should there be an outbreak;

That, government must make public available toll-free numbers and specialized centres within the regions for easy accessibility;

That, that the Ministry of Health partners with other Health Ministers within ECOWAS to fight the spread of the epidemic;

That, the various Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), media houses, etc supports efforts to intensify education on the disease;

That, Ebola is a disease caused by the Ebola virus and not a punishment from God;

That, government should quickly request for the serum for the treatment of the disease should it find its way into the country;

That, infected persons should be directed to seek immediate medical attention;

That, as a Council, we are prepared to partner with the government, World Health Organisation (WHO) and other organizations to intensify education on the virus;

That, international organizations such as the World Council of Churches, Care International, Action Aid, Christian Aid and the UN Systems should support us in undertaking nationwide education on the virus;

That, we will continue to pray for God to deliver us from this disease;

That, government extends all arrangements/preparations towards the Ebola fight to private and mission hospitals/clinics;

That, insurance packages should be made available to health professionals who will be dealing with the disease;

Cholera Outbreak
That, the various Metropolitan, Municipal & District Assemblies (MMDAs) must take concrete steps to ensure proper sanitation in the country;

That, the various MMDAs should review and enforce their by-laws on sanitation;

That, residents should stop the discharge of sewage and faecal sludge into open drains and water courses in the metropolis;

That, the MMDAs should intensify public education on the disease;

That, our churches should also do public education on the disease during their worship service;

That, churches and other bodies should organize frequent voluntary clean-up exercises to help keep the environment clean;

Statutory Payments
That, government must honor its obligations of paying statutory funds timeously;

That, the non-payment of statutory funds to the National Health Insurance Authority, Ghana Education Trust Fund, educational institutions, among others is making life very uncomfortable for most of our people;

That, government should quickly pay all outstanding statutory payments, in order not to destabilize the system;

That, government should ensure that payment of statutory funds are not delayed and used for the purposes they were collected;

Non-Violent Change
That, the current pursuant for change in some political parties, homes, traditional communities and organizations which has been characterized by violence are inimical to personal and national development;

That, we pursue the change we want in governance, churches, political parties, family, community, etc without violence;

That, change should be done on the principle of dialogue, consensus building and the very Constitution which governs us as either an institution or a people;

That, we must ensure that we pursue change without violence with the supreme interest of our family, community, organization and nation at heart;

Strikes & Demonstrations
That, Ghanaians and labour have the right to demonstrate against the worsening living standards in the country;

That, excessive demonstrations could also contribute to the worsening of our country’s challenges;

That, government should proactively address the concerns of labour to bring an end to the current labour unrest across major sectors of our economy;

That, government must take result oriented actions to deal with the enormous challenges confronting our people to bring an end to the current demonstrations and strike actions we are witnessing in the country;

Public Confidence
That, Ghanaians are fast losing confidence in government because their needs and aspirations are not being met;

That, the recent frequent demonstrations, labour unrest and media reports about people committing suicide-some in churches, are indications that our people are losing confidence in their leaders;

That, government must take the necessary steps to restore public confidence;

That, our leaders in church, chieftaincy institutions, etc must support efforts at restoring public confidence in the people they lead;

That, our religious and traditional leaders should actively show interest in national issues and articulate the concerns of their people and journey with them in finding solutions to the numerous challenges that confront them;

That, commendation be given government, traditional authorities, etc when due and constructive criticism be made and accepted;

Responsible Mining
That, our economy cannot do without the mining sector;

That, mining contributes significantly to government’s revenue and Gross Domestic Product (GDP);

That, government together with key stakeholders in the sector must ensure the enforcement of available mining laws in the country to ensure responsible mining;

That, the Mineral Development Fund Bill which has been pending at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources should quickly be approved by Cabinet and sent to Parliament for passage into law;

That, government and mining industries must put in place the appropriate policies to ensure that the livelihoods of people whose activities are affected by mining are adequately compensated and resettled;

That, traditional authorities and religious groups must protect indigenes in these mining communities by ensuring that mining companies do not undermine their livelihoods such as farmlands and water, and that they benefit sufficiently from the sector;

That, mining companies should ensure that their Corporate Social Responsibilities are in line with the needs and aspirations of the host communities;

That, mining companies should develop a communal relationship with their host communities and ensure that mining enhances the socio-economic development of those communities;

That, royalties paid to government be used in mining communities for the people to enjoy the benefits of their sacrifices;

That, government should not shirk its responsibilities in the mining communities to the mining companies due to their social responsibilities;

That, government must ensure that it complies with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, the African Union’s African Mining Vision, ECOWAS Directive on the Harmonization of Guiding Principles and Policies in the Mining Sector of West Africa;

Establishment of 200 SHS
That, government should partner with Religious Bodies that have the track-record in educational sector to establish the promised 200 community day Senior High Schools;

That, government should enter into Public Private Partnership with some of the religious bodies in the construction of the schools;

That, government must ensure transparency and accountability in the establishment of these schools;

That, government should also work closely with traditional leaders within the communities that the schools will be sited;

That, the current Winner-Takes-All syndrome is undermining our development and has become a threat to our fledgling democracy;

That, Winner-Takes-All is divisive and does not enhance active participation and consensus building in nation building;

That, the ongoing Constitutional Review Process must slow down to incorporate proposals from the Institute of Economic Affairs and others on how to address the Winner-Takes-All phenomenon;

That, Constitutional Review Commission must consider the issue of entrenching into the Constitution the establishment of an independent National Development Commission to design and shape Ghana’s desired future which will be a national dream;

That, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies Chief Executives must be elected by the people;

That, the President must be willing to appoint capable people outside his party onto Boards and public institutions;

Our Commitment as a Council
That, we will continue to pray for the prosperity and safety of mother Ghana;

That, we will continue to remain non-partisan and play our prophetic role in public advocacy and education;

That, we will continue to contribute to the provision of quality education, healthcare and shelter to the people of this country through our various member churches;

That, we will continue to work with our brothers and sisters from other faith such as Islam, traditional religion, etc to develop Ghana;

That, we will continue to promote religious harmonization for national cohesion and development;

Finally, we encourage everyone with Psalm 46:1-3 which reads; “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”

Rev. Dr. Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong
General Secretary

By: Marian Efe Ansah/

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