Wednesday, 22 May

Mahama: Blame clergy for Ghana's economic woes

Ghana's clergy

Former President John Dramani Mahama has attributed the economic challenges facing the country to the clergy, accusing them of a failure to speak out against the government's inordinate borrowing practices and extravagant expenditures over the years.

During his tour of the Bono Region, specifically in Techiman, Mahama expressed his disappointment with the clergy for their silence during periods when the government, particularly the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration, was extensively borrowing funds to spend non-existent projects.

He emphasised that the clergy's lack of vocal opposition to the borrowing spree contributed to the current economic difficulties the nation is grappling with. 

Mr Mahama asserted that if the clergy had taken a stand and spoken out against the government's unhinged borrowing, the country would not find itself in its current predicament.

According to Mahama, the clergy chose to remain silent, leaving the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to bear the responsibility of criticising the government's actions, but also without support from church leaders.

He lamented that the clergy's reluctance to speak up allowed the situation to deteriorate to its current state.

Meanwhile, the President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops' Conference, Rev Matthew Kwasi Gyamfi, has observed unbridled corruption is strangulating Ghana.

At the opening ceremony of the 2023 Plenary Assembly of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, held in the Sunyani Diocese on Monday, 13 November 2023, Rev Gyamfi wondered why Ghana is still impoverished despite being an oil-producer.

"There have been no significant positive changes in the economy since we became an oil-producing country", he noted, asking: "What happened to the gold and other mineral resources? Why are most of our roads in such a deplorable state? Why do we keep going to the IMF? Why do we keep borrowing so much when we are a rich nation?"

He said "both governments keep borrowing, and we are now in a deep financial crisis". 

"Why are we in this economic and financial quagmire? The massive uncontrolled corruption is suffocating the nation. It appears corruption is legalised".

"What should Ghanaians do since the existing form of democracy help only a few and leaves the majority behind? What about the impunity and arrogance of some politicians and their defence of corruption?", he asked.

In a series of further questions, Rev Gyamfi posed: "Should the Constitution not be changed or bettered for it to work for all Ghanaians instead of for a few? Should the legal system not be re-equipped to uproot corruption? What about our parliament, where the interest of the people is sacrificed for personal and party interests? Why have we not implemented the findings of the Constitutional Review Committee?"

He continued: "Can the governments explain to us why we are in this economic mess? What explanations can the two political parties give to Ghanaians for the unfavourable agreements we sign on our oil, minerals, power generation, etc.? Countries that have these resources in abundance are rich. Why do we remain poor? Ghanaians no longer accept the old explanations that the governments of Ghana have been giving.”

Rev Gyamfi said Ghana must learn from the turmoil in other African countries and amend “our Constitution and legal systems in a peaceful democratic way, in a manner that makes the government work for the good of all the people of Ghana.”

Source: Mensah