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Anglican Archbishop of Niger Delta lauds Ghana’s democratic credentials

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The Archbishop of the Anglican Diocese of North Niger Delta of Nigeria has noted that the democratic credentials of Ghana was the benchmark of this year’s General Election in his country.

Most Reverend Ignatius Kattey said the successive incidence-free elections Ghana had organised challenged Nigeria to make its General Election the best this year.

Archbishop Kattey was speaking at the investiture of 11 eminent personalities of the Anglican Church of the Province of West Africa at Wiawso in the Sefwi-Wiawso District of the Western Region at the weekend.

Seven men and four women received the Order of Knighthood of Saints Christopher and Mary as a unique honour for their distinguished services to the Church and the Society.

The ceremony, which was the first of its kind in the Church Province, was supervised by the Archbishop Kattey and assisted by Right Reverend Abraham Ackah, Bishop of Wiawso and other Senior Clergy of the Mission.

Archbishop Kattey told the large congregation comprising Ghanaians and Nigerians at the “Church of Ascension” who witnessed the more than three hours ceremony that the recent Nigerian election was the most successful in the history of his country.

He said Nigeria was eager to understudy how Ghana on how to manage religious and ethnic conflicts.

The Archbishop advised Ghana not to make the fledgling oil industry the main stay of the economy at the neglect of the agricultural sector.

He said oil rich Nigeria made a similar mistake by ignoring a viable agricultural venture that was exporting food, and regretted the action.

Archbishop Kattey said the by-product was the passion of people to exploit the oil industry to get rich quick at times through corrupt means.

He commended President John Evans Atta Mills for allowing peace and stability to prevail in Ghana.

Archbishop Kattey asked the knights to see themselves as “soldiers of Christ” with Jesus as “their Commander-in-chief,” and lead decent lifestyles to achieve the ultimate prize of Christians, by going to heaven.

“No one can go to heaven by mistake but one can to hell by mistake,” he said, adding “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?”

He asked the knights not to join secret cults and other practices that contradicted the teachings of the Church.

Bishop Ackah lauded Mr William Benjamin Assuah, one of the personalities who were knighted for his immense assistance to the Church.

The Knights of Saint Christopher who were dressed in tail coats with the traditional colours of black and red are:  Emmanuel Yaw Asante; William Benjamin Assuah; Kwesi Mintah-Benyin; Ngechu Obele; Thomas Bob Kingsley Osei; John Evans Quarshie and Yaw Eddie Gyapong.

The Knights of Saint Mary are: Margaret Ackah; Agatha Arthur; Elizabeth Asante and Georgina Lartey.

They were each presented with a Medallion and a Sword after they had answered to Pledges, Oaths and Declarations as required by the Anglican Communion.

Mr Kojo Mensah, deceased, who was slated to be knighted at the ceremony would be honoured posthumously.

Knightwood is a highly honoured office of the laity in the Church of the Anglican Communion.

The Church of the Province of West Africa is a province of the Anglican Communion, covering 15 sees in West Africa, specifically Ghana, The Gambia,  Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The Diocese are Accra, Cape-Coast, Koforidua, Kumasi, Sekondi, Sunyani, Tamale, Wiawso and Dunkwa (Ghana), Bo (Sierra Leone), Cameroon (Region Missionaire), Freetown (Sierra Leone), The Gambia , Guinea , Liberia .

The primate of the province is Archbishop Justice Akrofi.

The Wiawso Diocese has links with the Diocese of Toronto, Canada, the Diocese of New York, and the Diocese of Los Angeles in the USA as well as the Diocese of Portsmouth in the UK. Five Parishes in the Diocese of Wiawso, through the Bishop Waltham Deanery are also linked with some Diocese abroad.

It is the 9th Diocese in Ghana and was carved out from the Diocese of Sekondi in the Western Region.

It was inaugurated in February 2006, with the Consecration and Enthronement of it first Bishop, Rt Rev Abraham K Ackah in June 2006.

The Diocese is co-terminus with the five political districts of: Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai; Sefwi Wiawso; Juaboso; Bia and Akontombra.

Source: GNA

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