Less than 10 percent of Ghana's population is currently vaccinated, partly because of a lack of vaccines in the country until recently, BBC News had reported.
In the January 12 radio interview, Cardinal Turkson also revisited his recent retirement as Prefect of the Vatican-based Dicastery for Promoting of Integral Human Development.
“I don’t know why it made such rounds around the world and generated all the discussion. Here in the Vatican, every position is given for five years and at the end of the five years, either the term is extended or renewed, or one is reassigned to some other position,” the Cardinal who had served as President of the then Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace from 24 October 2009 said.
He further recalled the many fruitful years he spent in Rome saying, “I left Ghana in 2010. That means I have been here [for] 11 years, which means I’ve done two terms of five years …”
He added, “I’ve met this experience before. At the end of the set of five years, my mandate was slightly modified and extended. When I came here, I was to take charge of an office called Justice and Peace. At the end of five years it had a merger. Three other offices were joined with our office and that became the second set of five years.”
“This happened in August 2016. So, 2021 is the end of the second set of five years. So, at the end of all of these years, you notified the Pope that your five years is up to enable him to take a decision,” the 73-year-old Cardinal said.
On December 23, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Cardinal Turkson as Prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.
He named the 75-year-old Canadian Jesuit Cardinal Michael Czerny as the interim head of the dicastery pending the appointment of “new leadership.”
In the January 12 interview with Asaase Radio, Cardinal Turkson said, “The Pope decided to reassign and … have you move on, and that’s just what happened. You have to notify the Pope that your five years are up, and doing that is not resignation; it’s just a notification.”
“Over here in the Italian language, we say that you put your mandate back to his hands for him to reassign, extend, modify or do what he wants to do with it. So that’s just what happened,” he further clarified.