The Catholic Church leaders go on to decry “attempts to introduce and inflame religious passion in political discourse and activities.”
“Ghana as a nation is a secular state recognizing the right of all persons to practice any religion and to freely form or belong to any political party of their choice, irrespective of their religious affiliation,” they say in the statement that GCBC President, Bishop Matthew Kwasi Gyamfi, signed.
They urge Ghanaians to avoid any attempt to engage in a "politics of religion", and add, “We advise all Ghanaians to put Ghana first in their political campaigns so as to preserve the peace and unity of our motherland.”
Making reference to the October 29 incident when Ghanaian soldiers allegedly raided Garu in what seemed a reprisal attack following an assault on some national security intelligence officers deployed in the area, GCBC members denounce brutalities by security forces in the country’s Upper East Region.
They call upon the military to ensure their approach to restoring peace “has a more professional touch and not the use of brutal force in their work.”
The Catholic Bishops also decry violence that led to death of seven people in the country’s Nkwanta region and call on those causing violence to “smoke the peace pipe and work towards reconciliation and peace.”
In the collective statement, GCBC members express concern about environmental destruction and related challenges in galamsey areas. They say, “We are still disturbed by the worsening environmental destruction, pollution of water bodies, and increased reports of babies born with deformities and kidney diseases resulting from ingesting and inhaling heavy metals in galamsey areas.”
The introduction of the Environmental Protection Regulations, 2022, LI 2462, “which seemingly allow mining, even in globally significant biodiversity areas” is also a cause for concern for the Catholic Bishops in Ghana.
“We urge the government to take a critical look at this LI 2462, and as a matter of urgency, either amend or repeal it, in order to forestall the alarming trend of ecological destruction in the country,” GCBC members say in their statement shared with ACI Africa November 19.
Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.