A former presiding bishop of the Methodist Church of Ghana, Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Asante, has asked both the Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the government to tell Ghanaians why they deserve another term in office after 2024.
Turning to the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Prof. Asante, who was also a former chairman of the National Peace Council, said the NDC also needs to explain to Ghanaians why they should be allowed to come back to power.
2024 marks the NPP’s 8th year in office, and as has been the trend since Fourth Repulic, the ruling political party loses and hands over power, rendering Ghana’s national elections an NDC-NPP affair.
This remains the expectation of some political activists, especially those belonging to the largest opposition party, NDC; however, the NPP has said it will win the 2024 presidential elections to “break the 8”.
But, Prof Asante, also known to be vociferous on national issues, believes that if the ‘break the 8’ mantra is anything to go by then the NPP needs to convince Ghanaians of why they should be retained in power.
“The NPP is currently ruling and you say you will break the 8. They need to tell Ghanaians why they should be allowed. We have the NDC also trying to come back. They believe because they have been in power before, they can come back again. They should also tell Ghanaians why they should be allowed to come back,” Prof Asante stressed.
He was speaking on Joy TV’s flagship programme ‘The Pulse’ with the host Blessed Sogah, on Monday, August 7, 2023, on the subject: “In search of peace: How is Ghana’s religious diversity keeping the country together.”
The discussion was necessitated by the current political unrest in Niger following a coup.
“In bed with the NPP”
Prof Asante’s comments about the NPP is likely to come as a surprise to some people because he has been widely rumoured to be affiliated with the NPP.
Though he has not confirmed or denied the tag, Prof Asante has been painted with the red, blue, and white colours of the NPP because of his incessant political comments against John Mahama’s administration before the NPP won power in 2016.
Recently, he was chastised for “keeping mute” under the NPP with some describing him as a hypocrite because his political comments were no longer heard.
However, Prof Asante replied his attackers that he was no longer occupying any leadership position to speak on national issues.
He explained that he had handed over as presiding bishop and chairman of National Peace Council to new leaders and needed therefore to stay back for those who have taken over to chart the way as they deemed fit.
Prof Asante further complained that it has been the habit of Ghanaian politicians to make lofty and mouthwatering promises when they know very well that those promises are unattainable.
He said such a thing must be discouraged, and called on politicians to refrain from raising the hopes of the people with their promises only to disappoint them.
“How do you promise that you will create a sea for the people of Ashanti Region when you know that is not possible? It is important to be truthful to the people,” Prof. Asante said.
Touching on the issue of peace, Prof. Asante said it is vital that tolerance existed between all regardless of the religious background, and whether they agree on an issue or not.
He related an experience with former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo, who was stunned at the cordial relations between Christians and Muslims when he once visited.