The Seventh-Day Adventist Church (SDA Church) in Ghana has announced its intentions to sanction church members holding position in government, if corruption charges are leveled against them.
The proposed sanctions are beside criminal charges the state might brings against them during prosecution.
Dr. Kwabena Annor-Boafo, a former President of the South Central Ghana Conference of the SDA Church, said this during the Camp Meeting Service of the Amakom District of the SDA, headed by Pastor Adade Boateng, at the weekend.
About 1,500 church members, drawn from four churches in the Kumasi Metropolis, participated in the six day camp meeting programme, during which 20 new converts were baptized.
The former president of the South Central Ghana Conference of the SDA Church accused some church leaders, who have their church members in charge of the country, of doing little or nothing to enforce stiffer punishments on such members found guilty of misappropriating or embezzling monies belonging to the state.
Dr. Kwabena Annor-Boafo believes the measures would go a long way to deter the few church members in government from indulging in any corrupt practices, adding that it would also help purge the image of the church, as far as the fight against corruption is concerned. He said so far, SDA members who have served in various positions in previous and present administrations have proved worthy ambassadors of the church, because none has been accused of any corrupt practices.
Dr. Annor-Boafo mentioned Mr. Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popularly called Sir John, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Forestry Commission of Ghana, and Mr. Osei Kwame Prempeh, acting Managing Director (MD) and Group Chief Executive of GOIL Company Limited, as SDA members currently serving in the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) government.
He cautioned the duo that the church would impose sanctions against them after the state had administered its punishment, in the form of imprisonment, should they indulge in any corrupt practices.
Dr. Annor-Boafo indicated the SDA Church has a church manual that explicitly spells out the appropriate sanctions against church members accused of corrupt practices, including suspension or dis-fellowship.
“As a church we seriously frown on corruption, because it is depriving the country of so much revenue, and we do not expect our church members to engage in the act,” Dr. Annor-Boafo stressed, adding that “Ghana, as a religious country, needs to adopt God-Fearing measures to fight the canker, because most of the appointees are all religious people.”
He has, therefore, charged churches in the country to be bold to condemn corrupt practices permeating in every sphere of the nation, adding that the church cannot stand aloof while a few people drain the country off its resources at the expense of the majority.
The Adventist Pastor further cautioned the media about sensationalism and instances where cases are wildly reported, but later found to be untrue. Dr. Annor-Boafo also noted that one of Ghana’s fundamental problems, over the years has been illiteracy, and commended the Nana Addo government for the bold initiative in ensuring that the majority of Ghanaian children get access to education under the Free Senior High School Policy.