Opinions Fri, 23 Jun 2017

Following the ladder to the Christian

Today I was delighted to hear the Christian Council of Ghana through Apostle Dr. Onyinah rejecting the government of Ghana offer to sponsor Christian pilgrims to Israel.

Few days ago, when the Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs made a statement of the government decision to support Christian pilgrims to Israel, I wrote in my article, "To some Christians and Muslims who are happy because the government is helping you on your pilgrim journey, just put things into perspective and see if this is the right choice for the country?

No one is against you if you are a Christian or a Muslim and you want to go to Israel or Mecca. But if you want to go to your holy lands, you should have the capacity to do it yourself.

The government does not have to use the limited resources on such journeys." I feel happy because I got the response I wanted from the Christian Council of Ghana. I see this is one of the ways to put the government to task and also telling them the right way to use our resources for the betterment of Ghana.

According to Apostle Dr. Onyinah, "I don’t think government should sponsor people to travel. We’ve got so many things to do, the nation has so many challenges, the money of the nation should be used to develop the nation.

If someone wants to travel for religious purpose the person should be asked to pay his own expenses, but if the government opens the opportunity for us and give us the formal way to make things for people I cherish that and I thank the government for that, but I don’t support the idea that government should pay, sponsor those going out for religious purposes I don’t buy that idea. The money should be used to develop the country.”

A very classic response to the Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Samuel Kofi Dzamesi, "Let me assure you that we intend to have an eventful pilgrimage. Prayer at the Western Wall of the Temple of Jerusalem, visit to the Nativity Church of Bethlehem, renewal of baptismal promises in the river Jordan, ceremony of the awarding of Jerusalem Pilgrim Certificate.

In view of this, the ministry has set up two sub committees which are the Planning and Screening Committees which are composed of members of recognized Christian bodies. Once the initial programme is successful in accordance with the key indicators, the Republic of Ghana shall be given a quota for subsequent pilgrimages. It is necessary that we secure an understanding of the quotas. The initial and agreed fee for the pilgrimage per person is $2,700."

The Christian Council of Ghana has set a good precedent for everyone in the country to follow. I understand some Muslims pay for their trip to Mecca, but they should come out to reject any financial sponsorship from the government. This momentum must continue and send a clear message to the government.

Also, Ghanaians should learn from this to dismiss some needless government sponsorships and programs so that they will channel the limited resources to address pressing issues in the country. This is one of the best ways to put the government to task.

Let us understand the politicians are corrupt and sometimes manage our country haphazardly.

In response to them, good citizens have the MORAL RIGHT to reject unnecessary things from them.

Like what the Christian Council did, a good citizen should put himself/herself in a position to reject cash or all forms of favoritism and nepotism the government gives you.

Doing so will send a strong message to our leaders. Again, civil servants, businessmen/women, lawyers, judges, doctors, nurses, etc. all has the moral responsibility to reject needless offers from the government. We have had enough of displacement of resources since our independence in 1957.

Time to choose a new path and the Christian Council has shown us one of the paths.


Columnist: Kwadwo T. Boakye