Disrespect for Authority, the Elderly Un-Ghanaian- Catholic Bishops
The Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference has described as un-Ghanaian the politics of insults, abuse and disrespect in the nation’s body politics.
In a collective Pastoral Letter issued on August 10, 2020, the Bishops said “This practice is not only un-Ghanaian and uncultured, it also inhibits the free flow of diverse perspectives, rich ideas and opinions that are critically needed for nation-building and solving the complex socio-political problems facing our society today.”
The four-page Letter headlined: “Politics for Nation Building and Social Cohesion in Ghana” was signed by Most Rev. Philip Naameh, Archbishop of Tamale and President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference.
According to the Bishops since civility is nobility in politics, “We, therefore, call on all political actors and communicators to remain civil when canvassing for their respective political parties and personalities.”
In the view of the Prelates, “Closely related to this culture of insults and disrespect towards authority is a growing phenomenon of disregard and disrespect for the elderly in our society.”
The Ghanaian culture, the Bishops stressed is wisely built on courtesies for the elderly, deferring to them appropriately, loving and offering them assistance, exercising patience with them and concern for their wellbeing, most especially when they are frail and infirm of mind, is still our time-tested and virtuous foundation.
“It is in this regard that we were very saddened and we hereby register and express our absolute disgust at the unthinkable ordeal meted out to the 90-year old woman, Madam Akua Denteh in the Kafaba community, leading to her painful death in full view of onlookers.
The 90-year-old woman had been accused of being a witch by a fetish priestess, resulting in her gruesome murder at the presence of some community members who looked on unconcerned.
The July 23, 2020 unfortunate incident captured on video went viral on television and social media with the 90-year-old deceased woman being slapped, kicked and caned by two women. In the video, some of the people, who were beating the old lady, were heard saying “Allahu Akbar” to wit, “God is great” in the Islamic religion.
The Bishops noted that “This gruesome act and similar ones must never more be tolerated in our society and country; it must be met with very severe punitive measures according to the law, so as to serve as deterrent for individuals and communities who may still harbour such inhuman ideas.”