President John Evans Atta Mills has called on the clergy not to hesitate to whip the government into line on its agenda of revamping the economy to improve the quality of life of the people if it was not being done right.
According to him, the clergy were obliged to regularly inform the government about its weaknesses, saying what he abhorred and considered distasteful were sycophancy and personality cult.
President Mills made the call when he interacted with a delegation from the National Catholic Bishops Conference at the Castle, Osu, yesterday.
He said sycophancy had been the bane of several governments, stressing, “The Catholic Church should always do well us where we have gone wrong.”
He said more often than not, the people had always massaged situations and presented them to political leaders as the reality on the ground, noting that in most cases that had proved counter-productive and costly to governments.
President Mills explained that since the government was made up of human beings who had their deficiencies, it was bodies such as the National Catholic Bishops Conference which would identify its drawbacks for redress.
He said there was the tendency that power and authority often got into the heads of functionaries like strong rum, making them swollen headed, puffed up and insensitive to the plight of the people.
The President pointed out that since the people mandated the government to manage their affairs, it behoved government functionaries to sacrifice their comfort for the well-being of the people.
He said the functionaries should be mindful that it would be the same people they would ask for renewal of the government’s mandate in the next presidential and parliamentary elections, for which reason the functionaries must always fight hard to meet the people’s expectations.
Commenting on Ghana’s new oil find which inaugurated on Wednesday, President Mills assured the delegation that the government would, jealously guard against the misuse of revenue from the sale of oil.
He said natural resources, were held in trust for the people by the government, stressing that he would deal severely with any person caught misusing revenue from the oil.
The President said the government was also aware of the high expectations of the people, especially those from the Western Region, and called on them to exercise restraint, since the government would not shirk its responsibility to address their grievances.
He commended the Catholic Church for undertaking numerous economic and social interventions intended to ensure an improvement in the quality of life of the people.
The President of the National catholic Bishops of Conference, the Most Reverend Joseph Osei Bonsu, called for the deepening of state-church relations to advance the fortunes of the people.
He further called for a concerted effort between the state and the church to ensure the eradication of social vices which were crippling the Ghanaian society.
The Most Reverend Bonsu appealed to President Mills to use his good offices to ensure that revenue from the commercial production of oil was used to improve the welfare of the people.
He said the Catholic Church remained neutral in partisan politics but added that it would always comment on issues of national development to ensure the forward march of the country.
Source: Daily Graphic