Professor Ransford Yaw Gyampo

Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Ghana, Legon, Professor Ransford Gyampo has cautioned against the use of religion to silence dissent in Ghana’s democratic dispensation.

According to him, dissent is necessary for the survival of the country’s multiparty democracy and development and thus should be encouraged.

He said, “Through constructive dissent (not cynicism), pitfalls of projects and governmental actions are exposed for introspection and redress.”

His comments are in reaction to the assertion by the Presbyterian moderator, Rt. Rev. Prof. Joseph Obiri Yeboah Mante that those who do not unequivocally support the government’s Agenda 111 are witches.

According to Prof. Gyampo, such a statement from the Moderator was “absolutely unacceptable and undemocratic for revered people of God to use their religious influence to attempt to silence dissent.”

He warned that should religious leaders continue to tow that tangent, “religious reverence may suffer needless partisan and, more importantly, societal disrespect. But, we do not have to get there.”

He, however, encouraged clergymen to comment on public policies and politics but in a manner not to stifle dissent.

“We all cannot be forced to think alike. Society crumbles the day dissent is ousted. So, let the government be focused on what it wants to do and let those who want to dissent, freely do so. Should there be wisdom in dissent, it must be taken on board. Should there be nothing sensible in dissent, it should remain as dissent in the spirit of democracy,” he concluded.

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