General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana, Rev Dr Opuni Frimpong has cautioned politicians against knocking religious heads together in order to win power.
His comment was in reaction to statements made by NPP vice presidential candidate Dr Mahamudu Bawumia that the NPP must be voted into power in the upcoming elections in order to bring religious balance to the presidency.
Rev Dr Frimpong said politicians must desist from playing the religious card and allow the voter to give power to those who are deserving of it, no matter their religious background.
To him, votes should be based on merit, not on religion or ethnicity.
“I am a bit enthused the way Ghanaians and civil society groups are coming out when statements that are having ethnic, religious biases are made, just to say, ‘This is not the nation we want,’” he cautioned, in an interview on Tuesday May 2, 2016.
He advised that the right path is “vote people for whatever assignment on merit”.
“We must get people into positions because of what they can deliver and offer and not because they are from North, South East or West. Not because they belong to religion A or B,” the clergyman said.
He pleaded with political parties and their spokespersons not to play religious cards but think about “religious cohesion” in the build up to the November 7 presidential and parliamentary elections.
Dr Bawumia, who was addressing supporters in the Sissala East district of the Upper West region pointed out that: “If we look at the Flagstaff House today, it does not reflect the people of Ghana in terms of religion.
“We are in this country living peacefully and nicely, Muslims and Christians. So we believe in the NPP that Christians and Muslims should work together and that is why whenever we pick a flagbearer as a Christian, we pick a Muslim as a vice. And when we come and pick a Muslim as a flagbearer, we will pick a Christian as a vice.
“So, if, Insha Allah, Nana Akufo-Addo becomes president, he will swear with the Bible and enter the Flagstaff House and I will swear with the Quran and enter the Flagstaff House. So, when we combine the Quran and the Bible, Ghana will be the major beneficiary. The blessings of God will be on Ghana if we have the two religions in the Flagstaff House.”
But these comments have received condemnation from various quarters including the Christian Council of Ghana and members of the general public.