For reasons that only the media personnel can explain, the last few weeks have witnessed the dominance of NPP-related issues on the airwaves. Perhaps this may be attributed to the fact that the current leadership contest is irresistible and no media house can afford to ignore it.

My job as a Minister of the Gospel obliges me to be neutral when it comes of politics and it is surely not appropriate to publicly support a particular party. In my Church there are members from all the political parties and therefore I have always decided to distance myself from supporting one particular party. But events unfolding over the past few weeks greatly motivate me to offer my candid advice to the NPP.

It will interest readers to know that throughout my Pastoral work, apart from members of my congregation, I have also offered advice to various personalities in almost all the political parties. The Almighty God has abundantly blessed our country with individuals who understand that wars and conflicts are the devil’s handiwork and with HIS guidance we have continued to enjoy peace and harmony among all the religious and ethnic groupings with admiration.

Apart from being a Minister of God, I am also a Ghanaian and would like to see my country governed efficiently as well as develop. That is why certain things happening in the current NPP leadership race are bothering me and I feel compelled to offer some advice. I am not by any means suggesting that the NPP will win the next general elections, but is important that they get certain things right so that if they happen to get the mandate, the country will not suffer.

For instance, the number of aspirants is very worrying; it could be a source of confusion and division and may make the healing process after the Congress more difficult. I wonder nervously why the NPP has not found a mechanism to trim the number of aspirants down and to focus on the likes of Vice President Aliu Mahama, Nana Akufo Addo, Alan Kyerematen and Hackman who are clear front-runners by all accounts, with the Vice President edging ahead. All the people I have spoken to agree that the Vice President, Aliu Mahama is the right man for the job by contending that he has the essential experience and the right temperament. Perhaps the NPP may want to take a leaf from the NDC’s book by recognising the benefits of apprenticeship and endorse the incumbent Vice President Aliu who is well known and well respected both in Ghana and abroad.

As a Pastor I will be doing a dis-service to my nation if I fail to share the views of many Christians and Pastors in the country. Everyone I have spoken to regarding the future of our country and the NPP leadership race recognises that being multi-faith is one of the strengths of the country and the peaceful co-existence of all faiths is a testimony to that strength, especially in our current democratic dispensation. . Leaders do not always come from one’s religious background and this is very clear in the Bible. It is important to remind all Ghanaians that Christians and Muslims have continued to live in this country for many years as one and the same people, which is the envy of some other countries. The only time this harmony is destroyed is when a wacky soldier with no clue about government and governance decides to take us back through a coup de ‘tat.
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In the USA, there are some cities, which are governed by people from different faiths or beliefs, and both orthodox and Pentecostal worshipers do respect these people and live peacefully without any problem. To them it is the law that matters and individual religious background is irrelevant. As for Ghana we must all share the joy of having democracy being entrenched in our society and a vibrant Parliament and therefore it will be very difficult if not impossible for any President to move the country towards any particular faith. Non-faith leaders have even governed Ghana before, and yet everyone went about their normal worship without any restrictions. Furthermore, in the Bible we are told to respect other people’s culture/belief and always emulate Christ Jesus and not to engage in issues that will bring conflicts.

In coming out to urge the NPP to endorse the Vice President Aliu Mahama, I was of the conviction that in Proverbs Chapt. 15:1 it says, “A soft answer turneth away wrath but many words stir up anger.” The Vice President is a well-composed man who speaks little and truly he has surprised many of us who don’t want to engage in Politics because of the religious position we occupy. I have never heard Vice President Aliu Mahama insulting or causing innuendos on his political opponents either on political platform or national events.

In 2005 at a crusade held in Sunyani where my Church hosted respected Men of God from the USA, one of them was shocked about the language politicians used on the airwaves and on political platforms, he professed that if this attitude continue, Ghana will find it hard to develop. According to the Reverend Minister, government policies should always be subjected to examination but too many insults destroy the spirit of the Nation. Many Pastors are equally uncomfortable with the politics being played and the verbal attacks being waged by some aspirants and their supporters.’ It is based on this composure and respect he has for others that make me think the Vice president Aliu Mahama is better placed to lead the NPP. This country has witnessed too much of political posturing from politicians. Almost all the political parties are guilty of this and President. Kufuor attitude of reconciliation has been a welcome fillip and should be continued.

The Youth as we know turn to learn from people in the public eye including Politicians hence the need for them to be mindful about their utterances. That is why Vice President Aliu Mahama’s demeanour has a calming effect and is a huge benefit for the NPP and could also be a unifying element t for a united Ghana if Ghanaians re-elect the NPP.

Another impressive point that many Christians I know appreciate about Vice President Aliu Mahama is his continuous willingness to share his thoughts with the Christian community. He has done so in his many Television and Radio engagements. I feel very encouraged by his attitude; that of a person so passionate about seeing Ghana progress. Many Nations have developed by pulling all resources together from all parts of the country and bringing everyone on board.

Ghana will experience a different atmosphere if Vice President Aliu Mahama is made to face Professor Atta Mills. For both are patriotic individuals who always dislike attacking political opponents unnecessarily –such an attitude is what the nation is looking for. Equally essential to hammer home is his moral uprightness. You hardly hear anything untoward about him that puts his character in question. I see the Vice President is always desirous to avoid unnecessary confrontation that will bring his image and his party to public ridicule and this has earned him an enormous respect.

I can see the NPP is in a serious dilemma. There will surely be puzzlingly questions if Vice President Aliu Mahama is not chosen as leader. How will the party explain such an action to the electorate and other groups? Questions like whether the party’s leaders must always come from one part of the country may be asked. .

Had Vice President Aliu Mahama been a Minister, the issue wouldn’t have been more complex as it is now. There are people in the country who are aware that in many countries, unless the sitting Vice President has a health problem or engulfed in scandals, he or she always takes over from sitting President. The Vice President, Aliu Mahama, is in good health, no scandals, good relationship with President Kufour, is a graduate (for those who cherish academic qualification), acted so many times as President of the Republic of Ghana. So what will be the overbearing reason for rejection? This is a tough one for the NPP.

. I earnestly believe in the judgement of the Vice President and I hope the Religious and ethnic diversity currently being enjoyed harmoniously in the country will continue if he becomes the leader of the nation.
I remember when Mr. Nelson Mandela endorsed his then Vice president Thabo Mbeki; he said Vice President Mbeki had under-studied him (Mandela) and that he was ripe to take over as President of South of Africa.

I must conclude by informing the NPP to let their utterances be that of unity and to forge closer link with all. Again, all brethren in the Lord should continue to offer Divine directions to all the political parties. For when this nation is divided it will ultimately affect our development including the church.

I may offer my message to all the NPP delegates on who they should elect but it is the Lord who knows best and the right person for the party and nation is left to Him to decide.

May the Lord bless all the Candidates?

Authored by Pastor Ossei Gyamfi
ACCRA
Email: pastossei@yahoo.com

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