Former Minister for Youth and Sports, Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah, has urged the clergy in the country to be “consistent and speak truth to power”.
The Director of Elections for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), who was speaking to congregants of the Jehovah Shammah Temple of the Assemblies of God Church during a gathering to celebrate their 25th anniversary in Accra over the weekend, said the voice of the church is critical in shaping policy.
“The church must speak truth, righteousness consistently; it has to be consistent,” Afriyie-Ankrah stated. “It doesn’t matter which party is in power because wrong is not determined by a political dispensation.”
“If something was wrong yesterday and it is happening today, it is still wrong,” he added.
His comments come in the wake of the controversy and public discourse on the controversial E-levy that has been suggested in the 2022 budget and economic policy by the government.
Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta says the revenue accrued from the levy next year will be used to support small businesses and embark on massive road construction.
But the opposition has said the 1.75% e-levy will double the hardship Ghanaians are battling, and went ahead to use it’s numbers in Parliament to reject the budget which was later overturned by the majority caucus.
Recently commercial drivers embarked on a sit down strike across the country over the incessant fuel prices, which led to thousands of commuters in Accra and Kumasi walking miles to work.
Mr Afriyie-Ankrah believes the membership of the church will be affected by the levy hence the need for the clergy to speak up.
“….And therefore the church has enormous power to influence policy direction. We must speak truth to power and call people to order when they’re going astray irrespective of their political persuasion,” he entreated.
“…And politicians, we are interested in numbers and votes so if you know that the whole Assemblies of God; the whole Church of Pentecost; the whole Charismatic movement, what you are doing is against them, and they’ll speak against it, you’ll be guided by what you do,” he emphasized.
“So it is not just for mere political purposes to benefit one party or the other, but it is meant to set the country on the path of righteousness.”
“And that is why we have to be consistent, so when the NDC does something which is wrong, please speak it. And I want to commend Rev. Frimpong Manso. He has been very consistent. And that is how it should be. We have to be consistent; if NPP does it and it is wrong, we have to speak it otherwise we stand the danger of plunging this country into difficult situations.”
Afriyie-Ankrah was at the church to receive a citation on behalf of former president John Mahama who had been recognised and honoured for his selfless leadership to the people of Ghana by the Assemblies of God Church.
Mr Mahama was presented with a citation by the Jehovah Shamah Temple of the church at its 25th Anniversary Celebration.
Receiving the citation on behalf of the 2020 NDC presidential candidate of the NDC were, Afriyie-Ankrah, Dr. Sherry Ayittey and NDC Deputy National Women’s Organiser, Maame Efua Sakyiwaa Houadjeto.