The Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference has raised serious concern about allegations of secrete recruitment of unqualified persons mainly part foot soldiers into Ghana’s security agencies. The Bishops’ Conference in a communiqué issued after its Conference’s Annual Plenary Assembly, held at Elmina in the Central Region over the weekend is calling for an immediate stop to the illegality which has serious implications for the security of the state.
The practice, it said, allowed unqualified and persons with dubious characters to be recruited into the security services, making their performance ineffective. The statement comes after recent allegations by former President John Mahama, and 2nd Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumani Bagbin.
Last month, the issue dominated public discourse amidst social media reports which showed pictures of know party activists who were either undergoing training or had just passed out but the NPP denied, accusing the NDC of mischief.
The Interior Ministry equally issued a counter statement claiming there is no such secrete recruitments. But concerned about the development, the Catholic Bishops are demanding that any such actions in the name of protocol recruitment should be discouraged while competitive recruitment must be done to ensure that only the best were recruited.
The Communiqué among other things urged the Government to do more to address the heightened concerns about the general insecurity in the country.
The Catholic Bishops expressed worry about the use of Government White Paper to neutralize the Emile Short Commission report on the Ayawaso West Wuogon Violence and called on government to implement recommendations of the recent Emile Short Commission, especially those sections which refer to instances of criminality.
It also called for concerted effort involving all;..government, private sector, Civil Society Organisation, faith-based organisations to address the growing joblessness among the youth as a national security matter.
The communiqué’ by the Catholic Bishops also addressed other national issues including the need to institute measures to ensure that persons affected by the financial sector reform recover their investments and protect indigenous financial institutions from being swallowed by international institutions.
On environmental degradation and need to tackle challenges associated with climate change, the conference appealed to Ghanaians to refrain from the exploitation of natural resources that results in the pollution of water bodies and destruction of forest reserves.
It abhorred the increasing practice of abandoning projected initiative by previous governments and called on President Akufo Addo to hasten completion of ongoing projects in the areas of education, health, housing and roads especially.
The communique also called on Ghanaians to respect the rule of law and act in a manner consistent with the tenets of democracy as the country prepares for the 2020 Presidential and parliamentary elections.
“We appeal to Ghanaians to desist from bribery, threats, violence, lies, insults and other evil means to secure any electoral advantage,” it added.
The Ghana Catholic Bishops conference was also critical of outstanding controversial issues in the education sector. Key among them their demand for government’s position and concrete plans was to prevent future reintroduction of the Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) in any form in Ghana’s education curriculum.
The wording of the communiqué which suggests lingering doubt on the President’s assurance after the widespread public outcry against the CSE noted that, Ghana already has acceptable sex education in the educational system which was responsive to Ghanaian cultural and moral values.
It said it was time for the country to make it position clear and put in place measures to stop some persons and groups from propagating Lesbians Gay BisexualsTranssexuals Queers (LGBTQ).
“While we recognize that there are people with these abnormal sexual orientations and request that they be treated and helped, we oppose very strongly any CSE that teaches the acceptance of LGBTQ and same-sex marriage as normal,” the Conference added.
The Conference also called for a broad national dialogue of relevant stakeholders to review all aspects of the Free Senior High School (SHS) program and challenges associated with the Computerised School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS) to find the best way forward.