Former President John Dramani Mahama, has told churches to speak on the economic challenges facing Ghanaians presently.
He subtly criticized the former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Rev. Prof Emmanuel Martey, who constantly criticised the National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration, but has gone quiet under the Akufo-Addo government.
It is recalled that Professor Martey in October 2014 when Mr Mahama was the sitting President, said Ghana needed wise men to rule in order to save the nation from the numerous challenges.
He said this at the foundation stone and dedication of a church building for the Kwadaso Trinity Congregation in Kumasi.
“We need to be told as truth, the biblical cliche that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. We need wisdom to rule this country,” he said.
“Anyansafuoeii mo wo hin?” To wit “Where are the wise men?”, he asked.
But Mr John Mahama, while speaking at the induction ceremony for the founder of the Cedar Mountain Chapel Rev Stephen Wengam as General Superintendent in Accra on Saturday, February 25, 2023, admonished churches and religious leaders to speak out despite which political party is in office.
He said “The church does not exist only to pray for leaders, it exists also to provide some suggestions and guidance to leaders because, after all, the church does not hang in the sky, the church exists in society, and whatever happens in society affects the church.
“Today, the economic crisis that we are in, affects our congregation and so it is necessary for the church to speak out anytime they think things are not going on properly.
“I expect that this should be done no matter which government is in office. We must be seen to be balanced and nonpartisan, not ‘Anyansafuoeii mo wo hin” in one government and then go quiet in another one.
“We must always speak truth to power to whoever is in office it affects the lives of our congregation and Christians must not be afraid to participate in politics.
“I said that the price that the wise pay for not participating in politics is to be ruled by fools and so we as Christians should not shy away from politics.”
Meanwhile Prof. Martey has said he now uses text messages among other channels to speak to people on matters of national interest.
Speaking at a Public lecture in Koforidua on Tuesday, May 25, 2022, he said “Rev. Prof Martey is still speaking but has changed the style. Those I need to communicate with them I communicate. Sometimes through text messages and a lot of things have happened because of my intervention. So I’m still speaking”.
He further indicated that per the constitution of the Presbyterian Church, it is only the serving moderators who are mandated to speak on behalf of the church on national issues.
“You know the revelations, practice and procedure of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, the Spirit of our constitution is that the Presbyterian Church of Ghana has only one representative to speak on behalf of the church and that person is the moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana not past moderators but serving moderator.
“And for me, my understanding of leadership is that especially the Church’s setting leadership is like a relay race when the baton is given to you [you don’t take it , it’s given to you] ,you run as fast as you could and when you you get to the next person, you hand over the baton and stop running. If you hand over the baton and you continue running, anyone who does that is mad” he said.