Overplaying A President�s Religiousness

The so-called godliness of President John Evans Atta Mills, as presented by his aides, is assuming a noisy pitch. The Castle minders seize every opportunity that comes their way these days to play on his spirituality as if he were an infallible man who would never hurt a fly. Many, including us, would digest this with a pinch of salt anyway. Religiousness, although an impetus for the presidency, is never a qualification for the highest office in a secular Ghana and the constitution is available for verification. Having brooded over this newfound trend among the President�s aides, we have been compelled to state that the Castle minders have found in such religious posturing, solutions to the many challenges besetting the Number One citizen in the past few weeks. With a country awash with hordes of pastors, prophets and other church officials, Ghanaians would have chosen from the many Men of God one personality to be president, had religiousness been a qualification for the exalted office. Ghana has never had a fetish-inclining president since independence and so this tendency to overplay President Mills�s churchgoing attribute is for us frivolous and a choice of convenience by the Castle minders. Presidents Hilla Limann, Jerry John Rawlings and Kufuor were all Catholics, with Prime Minister K.A. Busia being a Methodist, in fact, a lay preacher� facts which indicate that every leader on the political turf was never atheist. In any case, have atheists been barred from seeking the presidency of the country? When an atheist wins an election, he would have to swear by affirmation since the Bible and the Quran cannot serve his purpose. Much as Ghanaians would prefer having God-fearing presidents, most of them being Christians, there is no portion of the constitution which demands that presidential candidates must belong to any of the two world faiths. If only the Castle minders could take cognizance of this fact and conduct themselves accordingly, it would relieve the political atmosphere of the much noise about the president�s religious credentials. The President himself has not helped matters by making remarks which seek to present him as a holier-than-thou leader, overshadowing even his predecessors. We recall the remark he made to the effect that if he had his way, he would turn the Castle into one large prayer camp. Fortunately, he would never have his way as the former slave post remains seat of government for the duration of his tenure and those of his successors, never to become a church or a synagogue. On another occasion, he told Ghanaians God was the president of this country and not him. God, fortunately, in his infinite wisdom, bestowed upon us the freewill to choose our leaders to rule us on earth. These leaders would account for their stewardship to the Almighty, Omnipotent and Omniscient God one day. Hiding behind God as President of Ghana, according to Mills, and mismanaging governance, cannot be an option. We have also been subjected to a repeated presentation that the President is one man who is incorruptible that we find the assertion laughable, given the reality on the ground. With the president�s officials busy amassing wealth through means which cannot stand the test of any credible forensic examination, it is amazing how such a head of state can be said to be incorruptible. We have heard about how contract fees for school blocks appreciated over 100% since last year, even as ruling party politicians continue to tout the single digit inflation figures in the face of Ghanaians.