The ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) says it owes no apology to the Presbyterian Church for statements made by some officials of the party.
The Presbyterian Church of Ghana is demanding an unconditional apology from the governing National Democratic Congress over what it calls unguarded statements by some officials of the party.
It says comments by Mr Allotey Jacobs and NDC General Secretary Asiedu Nketia, suggesting the church was doing the bidding of the opposition New Patriotic Party were irresponsible and reprehensible.
The attacks on the church came after its leadership waded into the controversial 45 new constituencies to be created by the electoral commission (EC).
According to the Presby church the timing for the creation of the constituencies is wrong and could mar the beauty of the upcoming election but Mr Allotey Jacobs and Asiedu Nketia disagree with the church.
Various groups such as Trades Union Congress (TUC) and the opposition NPP are also kicking against the creation of new constituencies.
However, Speaking to Asempa Fm’s current affairs talkshow, Kukurantumi on Saturday, General Secretary of the NDC Johnson Asiedu Nketia noted that his comment on the action of the leadership of the church was based on fact.
He asserted that since the Presby church failed to comment on the creation of 30 constituencies in 2004 during the Kufour era, it has no basis to talk about the yet-to-be created 45 under the current NDC government.
General Mosquito as he is affectionately called said the church should have chosen to meet the various stakeholders to discuss the issue than issuing a press statement.
“Under the Kufour era when ROPAL came up, we appealed to the religious leaders to intervene but were unable to help because president Kufour refused to meet them. In 2004, when 30 constituencies were to be created the Presby church were not heard so why about now? Have they got mouths to talk now? So let them come again” he bellowed.
On the part of The Central Regional Director of Communication for the NDC who was also implicated in the statement of the church, Ben Allotey Jacobs noted he owes no apology to the church.
He reiterated that the leadership of the church are anti-NDC because it only raises issues of governance when NDC is in power.
Mr. Allotey Jacobs opined that though he respects the Presby church, it is not above criticisms so anytime it goes wrong, he will chastise them.
“I respect Presby church because it is a church of God. But the leadership of the church anytime the NDC is in power follow the line of NPP in any national issue. As men of God they are not above criticisms because only God can’t be criticised. I will always criticise them if the need be. As men of God, we didn’t hear from them in the creation of the 45 constituencies till the NPP started making noise so what are they talking about?”
He admonished the leadership of the church to remain neutral and not take the path of any political party or else they will face the wrath of the NDC.” Are they telling us that we cannot criticize them because they are tin gods or what? They must come again because I will not apologize”.
In sharp rebuttal, Public Relations Manager of the General Assembly of the PCG, Mr Emanuel Osei Akyeampong, said the actions of the two NDC members are irresponsible and must render an unqualified apology to the church.
He urged president Mahama to intervene and call Mr. Asiedu Nketia and Allotey Jacobs to order for their actions are insulting to the Presby church.
He wondered why the NDC thinks that it is against them because “we are also part of the governance process and criticize any government we think is going wayward”.
“The president must call them to order because these have been going on for far too long. They are attacking us for wading into a national issue? Do they expect to come to our churches to campaign? They think they can insult anybody just like that? They must apologize unconditionally”.
Mr Emanuel Osei Akyeampong questioned the motive of the NDC for saying the church is doing the bidding of NPP because it is not a political organization.
He noted that the NDC general secretary attacked the Presby under the influence of alcohol “because any normal person cannot speak like that”. I don’t know whether Asiedu Nketia was speaking under the influence of alcohol because how can any normal person without taking in anything speak that way? This is uncalled for”.
He said the NDC cannot direct them as to how to communicate their grievances because “we have many people with intellect who can advice us not the likes of Allotey Jacobs”.
He bellowed that the Presby church feels insulted by the actions of Asiedu Nketia and Allotey. ”I am imploring on them to apologise or we will expose them to the latter”.
“We are sounding a word of caution to all political parties not only NDC to respect the church and not think that they are above criticisms and can insult anybody. We also play many roles in the building of the country by building schools, water, hospitals and others so we have right to talk”.