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Prosecute State Looters

… As Gov’t Losses $1bn Annually To Corruption – Methodist Church

The Kumasi Diocese of the Methodist Church-Ghana has urged President Akufo-Addo to prosecute those who have looted state funds, to deter others from also doing so.

Right Rev Christopher Nyarko Andam, Kumasi Methodist Diocesan Bishop, who made the call, noted: “We urge the government to fully execute its strength in fighting corruption, by prosecuting state fund looters, irrespective of their political persuasion, to send a clear message that corruption cannot be tolerated again.”

According to the church, over the years, Ghanaians have complained about the loss of state resources uncovered by the Auditor General, and yet, those accused of these corrupt practices have not been brought to justice.

The Methodist Minister further noted: “We equally charge all state entities tasked to fight against corruption to deal ruthlessly with all offenders.”

Addressing the 56 Diocesan Synod at the Ebenezer Methodist Church at Bantama in Kumasi, under the theme: “Making disciples of all nations: The Wesleyan tradition for church growth,” he bemoaned that “Corruption continues to be a major problem; it is estimated that Ghana losses over GH¢4 billion annually, through corruption.”

He also told the congregation: “As a developing country like ours, whose total Projected Domestic Revenue (PDR) for 2017 is GH¢43,430,000 – which is the amount of money we are going to use to develop our country this year – and yet, annually, we lose four billion, which is about ten times the PDR. This is clearly unacceptable.

“The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament has started reviewing the 2015 Auditor General’s report, and already, we are hearing stories of how people auctioned government cars at a laughable price of GH¢350,” he added.

“The Wesleyan Prelate charged President Akufo-Addo not to serve his own interests, but rather serve the interests of the entire Ghanaians, as he steers the affairs of the nation.”

He added: “You were elected into this leadership position by the people of Ghana not to settle your own interest, but to work in the interest of all Ghanaians.”

Mincing no words, the Wesleyan Prelate lauded the Flagstaff House, civil society, state organisations and the media on their unflinching crusade against the menace of illegal mining, which is wrecking our farm lands and water bodies.

He said: “Several reports have shown how galamsey is fast-depleting our forest reserves, destroying cocoa and other farm lands, and above all, massively polluting our water bodies. You have read, heard and seen how the Birim, Ankobra and Tano among others, which were once very clean, have become polluted, with disturbing levels of turbidity, resulting in the shutdown of some water treatment plants. There is also the destruction of fishes in these water bodies, coupled with the high cost of treatment of water for human consumption.

Bishop Andam, former Synod Secretary of the Kumasi Diocese, noted: “We know that ever since the President started the crusade against illegal mining, many excavators and other earth moving equipment have been withdrawn from the galamsey sites.”

In a direct message to Nana Akufo-Addo’s government, the Kumasi Methodist Diocese Bishop said: “We urge the government to ensure that these illegal miners do not return to the sites, as has happened in the past. We, particularly, urge the President not to kowtow to the threats of being voted out of power in the 2020 general elections, but continue the good work you have started, in the collective interest of Ghana.

“As a church, we pledge to use our pulpit to educate our members on the need to end the phenomena, and at the same time, we urge the church to hasten the programme by formulating measures to regulate small scale mining, and to allow law-abiding citizens to take advantage of the mineral resources of the country in a sustainable way.”

He used the occasion to formally congratulate Prof. Seth Opuni Asiamah, Ashanti Regional Chairman of the Peace Council, on his induction into office as the Lay Chairman for the Kumasi Diocese. He was confirmed by the Conference at Tarkwa, in the Western Region.

From Richard Owusu-Akyaw, Kumasi