President John Dramani Mahama has asked religious leaders to be bold and condemn utterances that are likely to breach the peace before, during and after the November 7 general election.
He appealed to the clergy to “cut politicians down to size” when they begin to think and act as if they are bigger than the country.
Addressing a breakfast meeting of the Cape Coast Council of Churches in Elmina yesterday as part of his “Accounting to the people” tour of the Central Region, President Mahama said: “As members of the clergy, I will urge you to continue in that role that you have played to calm the waters and cool tempers.”
“Sometimes as politicians, we think that we are bigger than this country and you must always remember to cut us down to size and let us know that this country will exist long after we are gone,” he added.
He said as the Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), he would do everything in his power to ensure peace, but asked the ministers of the Gospel and other religious leaders to offer prayers for the nation.
President Mahama attributed the peace the nation was currently enjoying largely to the spiritual intervention of religious leaders.
He said it was not by the stroke of luck that the country had been spared so many calamities and violence and credited the religious leaders for their prayers and supplications.
However, the President said, “the peace that we enjoy should not be taken for granted”.
He affirmed his commitment to ensure violence-free elections, saying that “if there should be any violence, it will not come from me”.
He mentioned the devastating effects of war and made particular reference to the wars in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mali, among other places, which claimed lives and displaced hundreds of people.
“So when the temperature heats up at political platforms and threatens fire and brimstone, I ask whether these people have ever witnessed the effects of war,” he said.
He said when the Ebola disease plagued the West African sub-region, “I fell on my knees and prayed to the Lord to have this cup pass over us”.
President Mahama said it was not an accident that the nation was safe and considered a bastion of democracy in West Africa and underscored the need for the nation to continue to “thank God for His blessings”.