Rt. Rev. Prof. J.O.Y. Mante
The Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Rt. Rev. Prof. Joseph Obiri Yeboah Mante, has taken on those thinking it is the sole responsibility of the government to fix the country.
Whilst admonishing those in authority to use state resources judiciously to ensure equitable distribution of development, the Moderator made it clear to those pushing for the country to be fixed that there is no party or government coming from anywhere to fix the system, and that they must first change their attitudes and find jobs to do.
“One thing I don’t want to happen is for the young men and women in this country, and you can kill me for this, to sit down thinking that there is a party somewhere coming to fix things. It is not true! It is a lie! We must fix our environment wherever we are. We should get some job doing. Get something to do!”
The Moderator was speaking recently during the 38th Annual National Delegates Conference of the Men’s Fellowship of the Ga Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana held at Osu Ebenezer Church Hall in Accra.
Witches & Wizards
In recent times, the Moderator has been on ‘fire’ trying to speak boldly on national issues.
The respected Moderator could not fathom how such a laudable project like the government’s Agenda 111, meant for the construction of hospitals across the country being undertaken by a ‘poor’ nation like Ghana, would attract opposition and drew the conclusion that only ‘witches’ and ‘wizards’ will be against Agenda 111.
Whilst advising the initiators (government) to ensure that all the projects are completed as scheduled, to reduce the health burdens of the poor, he fired those who were against the project asking rhetorically, “Is it not witchcraft?”
“Some of the things do not make sense to me. We allow politics to blind us to the point that as people in abject poverty without good hospitals compared to what we have abroad where a hospital is a hospital and a clinic is indeed a clinic. Someone says he wants to construct 111 hospitals and you are angry out there, it means you are indeed a witch or wizard incarnate. If you are a pastor looking for witchcraft to exorcise please look for this kind of witchcraft.”
Even though the Presby Moderator never mentioned anybody specifically, the opposition NDC regarded itself as the target of the clergyman’s remarks and took to social media to harass and badmouth the Moderator as it has always done to anybody speaking on national issues that the NDC stands to oppose.
At the Osu Presby Hall, Rev. Prof. Mante, quoting Martin Luther King Jnr, called for commitment to ensure the accelerated development everybody expects.
“It is always easier to sit on the fence and talk and criticise and these days there is social media. People will just sit idle. They would not work and rather will turn to social media to say fix the country, fix the church, fix the family. The only thing they would not fix is their mouths!
“I will tell you something. Seriously, there are different ways of organising a country. One is the socialist system, the other is the capitalist system. In the socialist system, they give almost all the authority to government and so government alone must fix it. In the capitalist system, every individual has his own authority and power to their things.”
Rev. Prof. Mante said “in a third world like in Africa and all the African countries, the best bet for us is to have a hybrid. A bit of this and a bit of that, so no government can fix the country alone. It will not happen. People must get up and work and stop being lazy. We must all work.”
He also said “on the other hand, governments cannot sit there and take our monies and chop the money. They must use the money to fix the country better. We need a hybrid, we need both.
“Having said that, if you are taking the purse of the whole country, use it to make the country better. We need both. We need people who will fix their mouths and their hearts, people who will fix their attitudes and we need governments too that will fix the country and when these two come together, Ghana will become a better place and I pray that it shall be so.”
By Ernest Kofi Adu