A group of Christian clerics and Parliamentarians on Thursday condemned the canker of corruption as a bane on national development and called on the Church and State to collaborate to check the canker.
The call, made at the Bible and Governance Conference 2019, held at the Parliament House, in Accra, suggested also that Christians, even within their various denominations, should unite and be in front-line of the fight against corruption.
The State, in this regard, must also provide adequate and effective punitive mechanisms to deter people from engaging in illegality.
Chaired by Mr Emmanuel Kwasi Bedzrah, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Christian Fellowship, the Conference, the second to be organised since last year, was on the theme: “Corruption is a Demon, Which Christians Must Unite and Support Leaders to Arrest.”
It examined the “Anatomy of corruption and the way forward,” “Why Christians must be the first people in the fight against corruption,” “The reason why we must not be partisan when it comes to fighting corruption,” and “The root cause of corruption in Ghana, what should be done to prevent it?”
Mr Bedzrah, Member of Parliament for Ho West, quoting Isaiah 33:22: “For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; it is He who will save us,” identified God in the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary, the three Arms of Government, and stressed the need for transparency and accountability in those realms of Government.
“God is President, God MP, God is Judge, and so politics is founded on Scripture,” Mr Bedzrah said, and called on actors in the three Arms of Government to exhibit the character of God in all their political activities.”
He called on Christians to get active in politics to fashion out legislation and policies that would benefit the Church and check corruption in business and society.
Mr Bedzrah expressed regret that the weekly prayer session by the Parliament Christian Fellowship has recorded very low attendance by Christian Members of Parliament and appealed for more patronage by fellow MPs.
First Deputy Minority Chief Whip and MP for Banda, Ahmed Ibrahim, who is also an Elder of the Church of Pentecost, said political leadership was an appointment from God, which required no need for the amassing of wealth through bribery, underhand dealings and corruption to perpetuate one’s political career.
“Christians must understand the very foundations of governance, the Christian must lead, but in an exemplary way,” Mr Ibrahim said, and asked, “If Christ is in me, what kind of laws will I make?”
Giving examples from the Bible, Mr Ibrahim stressed the need for adequate training and mentorship of political leaders and fairness in the allocation of resources to satisfy the citizenry.
Political actors and leaders, he said, must also be agents of better change.
Rev Dr Benjamin Ayikwei, the Head Pastor Trailblazers Christian Ministry, explained that corruption had a spiritual foundation, which thrives in an environment of poverty.
He challenged leaders in Africa, who are embroiled in corruption, to shed the canker, which he called a demon.
He called on the Church to sponsor politicians in order to be able to hold them accountable.
Rev. Helen Adjoa Ntoso, the MP for Krachi West and former Minister of State, said corruption stemmed from unrighteousness and called on the Christian community to continue to teach people to avoid unrighteousness.
She reminded Christians that God would hold each one personally accountable for any action, and righteousness has no political colours.
“A day is coming when we are not going to do political parties, and neither Akufo-Addo nor John Mahama would hold your hand to appear before Jesus,” Rev Ntoso said.
Apostle Joseph Asabre, of the Church of Pentecost, identified corruption as huge and pernicious and stressed for a holistic approach in tackling it.
He condemned environmental corruption and urged Christians to be good stewards of the environment.
Other speakers underlined the need for effective Church and State collaboration to address the problem.
Past and present members of the Parliamentary Christian fellowship, including Mrs Elizabeth Sackey, Mr Gershon Gbediame, and Mr Ahmed Ibrahim were honoured for their service and contribution to the Fellowship.