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‘Don’t go to Mahama; Tell Akufo-Addo to behave’ – Osei Akoto blasts Clergy over E-levy

The 2020 parliamentary candidate for the NDC in the Oforikrom constituency in the Ashanti region, Henry Osei Akoto has described the Christian leaders who visited former President John Mahama as hypocrites.

His anger follows a visit a delegation from the leadership of the various church groups and associations paid to Mr Mahama over the recent happenings in the country.

Led by the Most Reverend Paul K. Boafo, Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church, the delegation included representatives from the Christian Council of Ghana, the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council, and the Catholic Bishops Conference.

The clergy discussed some national issues and indicated that it was prudent to visit Mahama over the issues.

“As major stakeholders, when things become of concern, we are all to take it up and see how best we can find answers and resolutions,” Most Reverend Paul K. Boafo noted.

He added, “Getting to the last quarter of last year, we all experienced what our country has never experienced before. It came to the hilt when they were about closing with the introduction of the budget and E-levy and what went on the last but one day of parliament were exchanges resulting in some fight and all that. The churches or the Christian bodies became alarmed and we said we will not sit…”

It will be recalled that a tussle broke out in Parliament in the latter part of November last year following what the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MPs say was an unconstitutional action by the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Wusu, when the E-Levy was being debated.

The Minority said the action of Mr Osei Wusu was also contrary to the Standing Orders of the House, during the debate and voting.

But speaking during the meeting with the clergy,  former President Mahama told the Christian leaders that the resistance of the Minority Group, which led to the brawl, was a fight for democracy aimed at preventing unconstitutionality.

President Mahama said “that fight was a fight for democracy. There is no way a Speaker can sit in the chair, relinquish the chair, let somebody else come and sit in it and take a vote in something that he has presided over. The constitution is clear”.

The former President disagreed with suggestions that the Minority should have allowed the process to continue and prevent the fracas.

Mr. Mahama told the church leaders, who said they were on a “peace mission” to find a resolution to “what is happening to us in our country”, that Ghanaians have made it clear that they do not want the E-Levy, and the Minority Group’s push back is a reflection of what the people want.

But reacting to the visit on Dwaboase on TV XYZ, the NDC candidate for Oforikrom charged the clergy men to rather advice President Akufo-Addo on his bad governance.

“I am disappointed in the pastors that lined up to the former president,” he told Piesie Okrah. “Their visit was needless because there’s is someone who has been entrusted to manage the country and not the former president.”

He argued that the E-levy was a regressive tax because it will tax people’s capital which shouldn’t be the way to go.

“Now you journalists cannot talk and criticise the government. You are always panicking when there’s the need to criticise the government, ” he said while urging the religious leaders to caution President Akufo-Addo.

Mr Akoto is not the latest to bemoan the silence of the clergy which was once vibrant and vociferous under the Mahama regime but has suddenly gone quiet.

Early this year, NDC Director of Election criticised religious leaders in the country and reminded them of their role in deepening the democracy of the country.



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