Bishop Bosomtwi Ayensu

Right Reverend Stephen Bosumtwi-Ayensu

The militant wing of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), the United Cadres Front (UCF), has descended heavily on the Methodist Bishop of Obuasi, Right Reverend Stephen Bosumtwi-Ayensu, for what they described as his constant criticism of the Mahama administration, describing the man of God as a ?political animal in cassock.?

Their biggest problem was the bishop?s recent description of the country?s leaders as ?big liars.?

In a statement issued yesterday, the group recalled that the same man of God took on government in what they termed ?very rough language? at a crusade in his diocese.

Bishop Bosumtwi-Ayensu, who happens to be a retired senior police officer, is noted for his candid opinion about the happenings in society and government without fear of any intimidation.

Speaking recently at the 17th Annual Synod of the church at Obuasi, the outspoken Methodist Bishop questioned President John Mahama about the indicators that point to a turnaround of Ghana?s economy as the President suggested during the May Day celebration.

He said despite the fact that the country is endowed with rich mineral and other resources, Ghana was still hanging in the air with its citizens wallowing in abject poverty, all because of ?mismanagement and stealing in high places.?

Cadres? Concern

?Much as the United Cadres Front recognizes every individual?s right to free speech and association, we think it is now becoming a norm for some members of the clergy to use the pulpit of the Lord to propagate their partisan leanings to their congregation,? the group noted.

It therefore stressed that the bishop had thrown away his clerical cassock and stepped into the arena of active politics declaring, ?Bishop Bosumtwi-Ayensu ought to be told in plain language that?he better put aside his clerical cassock and colour, put on the political garment of the New Patriotic Party and join them in their campaign to win power in 2016.?

Deputy General Secretary of UCF Camillus Sakzeesi, who spoke on Accra-based Citi FM later on the issue, said they had nothing against the bishop or any member of the clergy in Ghana expressing their opinions about the economy and whatever it is.

Instead, he noted that ?if you are a leader and you can classify the leadership of governance as? liars, this is very confrontational; it has got nothing to do with your clerical work and whatever it is.

?If you look at the temperament or even the lack of decorum in the way they speak?they are very distasteful,? he emphasised.

He also noted that ?when you look at the incitement in his statement, when you look at the way he talks, he is actually inciting the congregation and trying to incite the whole citizenry against the government,? asking Ghanaians to be cautious of such people.

Fear

This, Camillus Sakzeesi explained, was because ?these are very influential elements and when they speak people listen; and that is why we are saying that they ought to be very cautious in what they say??

An obviously provoked Sakzeesi noted, ?When you actually speak in a manner that actually irritates people to rise up against a system, then it means you yourself you don?t know what you are about.?

He therefore described the comments of the man of God as ?very un-clerical? since according to him, ?it is not the first time the Bishop is making such sensational statements.?

Camillus did not accept the suggestion that their move was somehow intended to gag people like Reverend Bosumtwi-Ayensu from speaking their minds freely on issues concerning the nation.

Instead, he stated that ?we want them to actually come out strongly as political-religious leaders, then we know that these are politicians?and not the real?that they are supposed to wear and then serve God.?

?What we actually want to bring out to the fore is that people are hiding behind religion?and then trying to force their political ambitions on the congregations they lead, and that is what we are against,? he emphasised.

 By Charles Takyi-Boadu

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