The Center for Democracy and Socio-Economic Development (CDS Africa) strongly condemns therecent insensitive comment made by the Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram, Hon. Sam Nartey George, describing Vice President and flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, as a “religious prostitute.”
This remark, aimed at the Vice President’s exemplary tolerance towards the Christian faith despite being a Muslim, is reckless and poses a direct threat to our democracy and society. Dr. Bawumia has consistently demonstrated the importance of religious coexistence to our dear country’s peace, security, and development. So, for anyone or a group to abuse the value of such an investment on the altar of politics is the height of opportunism and insensitivity.
Ghana owes the relative peace we enjoy despite the prevalence of activities of religious extremism in the sub-region, essentially due to the inherent religious tolerance of Ghanaians at all levels. As a nation, we have promoted an environment where diverse religious beliefs are respected, and our leaders from both the New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress have commendably reflected the same to keep our society harmonious despite the challenges. This is our story.
Therefore, we call on the leadership of the National Democratic Congress, led by former President and flagbearer His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, to unreservedly condemn and dissociate himself and the NDC from the reckless attack on the character of Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.
Further, we ask that the former President and flagbearer, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, direct Hon. Sam Nartey George unconditionally retract and render an unqualified public apology for the offensive comment. Such an act has the value of signaling to political commentators or the spokespersons of the political parties the need to be responsible and sensitive at all times.
We also extend this call to the Perez Chapel International, led by Bishop Charles Agyin-Asare, where Hon. Sam Nartey George is a known Elder, to distance itself from his remark likely to provoke religious tension. This assumes greater importance for the Perez Chapel because its founder recently made comments that have been described as intolerant of the traditional beliefs and practices of the Nogokpo Shrine in the Volta Region. The church must compel its elders to apologize to clear all doubts that it is intolerant of other religions in Ghana.
Finally, CDS Africa invites the Christian and Muslim communities, the National Peace Council, and civil society organizations to unite in their condemnation of this and all forms of degenerative political speech likely to undermine the democracy, peace, and security of Ghana.