The Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra, Most Rev. Charles Gabriel Palmer-Buckle, has called on Ghanaians to hold politicians and other office seekers accountable for what they say so that they will not take the electorate for granted.
“As we say, let them walk their talk. Let people feel responsible for what they are saying. The days are gone when people would only look at their origin or a certain political coloration before voting,” he said.
Most Rev. Palmer-Buckle made the comments when addressing the Catholic Law Students’ Guild at the Ghana School of Law in Accra on Thursday. He was speaking on the topic, ‘Election 2012 and the role of the Catholic Law student’ after the celebration of mass at the school.
“Personally, I am very confident that these elections are going to be as successful as the previous ones. I am confident because we’ve gone to elections five times and we’ve acquitted ourselves creditably,” he assured the students comprising both Catholics and non-Catholics.
He was confident that since the same Electoral Commission had been able to organize the previous elections peacefully and had gained so much respect worldwide, the same body would be able to give a good account of itself in this year’s elections.
His optimism was premised on the fact that as part of Ghana’s democratic maturation process, the country had reached a stage where people were beginning to respect state institutions and as such they were becoming more law-abiding.
He called on law students, in their capacity as intellectuals, to help people to make informed choices because “if we all insist on doing the right thing, I don’t see why we can’t succeed.”
The respected Catholic priest said, “How I wish Ghanaians would be proactive in what they believe in. Ghanaians are cowardly. The men are ready to run away when it suits them. We need heroes.”
Archbishop Palmer-Buckle called on Ghanaians to cherish peace to the extent that they should be ready to lay down their lives for it, adding that “believe it or not there several people who do not know peace.”
He described the expression “All die be die” as cowardice because Jesus did not say that but rather said “take up your cross and follow me.”
He encouraged Ghanaians to be advocates of peace since that was the surest path to development.
“Believe it or not, it is not the political party in power that creates development; it is the peace that is in a country that allows all to bring their ideas together which brings about development,” he explained.
“Encourage people to be peaceful. We live in a world where people monger fear. The world has heard a lot of violence, a lot of nonsense, let us encourage peace. Rise up and work for peace.”
He hoped the students, being the next crop of leaders, would give the country “the sort of leadership” it needed in the next few years to come.
“For me, this is my only country, I will not go anywhere, I was born here, they buried my navel here, I have enjoyed here and I want to die and be buried here,” he added.
By Sylvanus Nana Kumi