The Conference of Major Superiors of Religious in Ghana (CMSR-Gh) has issued a warning, declaring that the upcoming 2024 general elections in Ghana will deviate from the norm, urging citizens to engage in prayers for a peaceful electoral process.
In a New Year message, President of CMSR, Fr. Paul Saa-Dade Ennin, expressed concerns about the heightened stakes in the upcoming elections in the West African country, citing various factors that distinguish this electoral season.
Fr. Ennin highlighted the return of former president, John Dramani Mahama and the ruling New Patriotic Party’s determination to break the eight-year cycle amid numerous challenges and economic hardships, and the populace’s yearning for genuine change and a prosperous Ghana as elements that set the 2024 poll apart.
“After 32 years of democratic rule, one would have expected an election year to be a normal year! Unfortunately, 2024 does not look like a normal election year for the stakes are higher than ever before,” the message signed by Fr. Ennin said.
He however appealed stakeholders, including the Electoral Commission to ensure fairness and neutrality, emphasizing the importance of being perceived as a fair and neutral arbiter. Additionally, he called on peace entities in the country to be bold and conscientious in safeguarding the peace needed during the electioneering period.
The appeal and caution come after Ghana’s Electoral Commission (EC) is proposing for polls to close at 3 p.m. for the 2024 instead of the traditional 5 p.m., a development that has left many sceptical.
The two major political parties in Ghana, the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), have expressed reservations regarding the EC’s proposal.
But, the EC has defended its decision to shift the closing time of voting. EC Chairperson Jean Mensa emphasised that this adjustment aims to facilitate the transparent and orderly collation of votes by electoral officers in broad daylight.
Although a major cocoa and gold producer with oil and gas reserves, Ghana is battling an expanded debt load.
It recently reached agreement on the terms for a second payment of $600 million out of its $3-billion credit deal.
Several hundred opposition protesters rallied in Ghana’s capital Accra in October 2023 to denounce the economic crisis, blaming it on the central bank governor’s policies.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has led the country since 2017 and will step down after serving the two terms allowed by the constitution. Opposition candidate, John Dramani Mahama is seeking a comeback after losing to President Akufo-Addo in the 2016 and 2020 elections.
The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time:
"Set out for the great city of Nineveh, and announce to it the message that I will tell you."
So Jonah made... ready and went to Nineveh, according to the LORD'S bidding. Now Nineveh was an enormously large city; it took three days to go through it.
Jonah began his journey through the city, and had gone but a single day's walk announcing, "Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed,"
when the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth.
When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in the ashes.
Then he had this proclaimed throughout Nineveh, by decree of the king and his nobles: "Neither man nor beast, neither cattle nor sheep, shall taste anything; they shall not eat, nor shall they drink water.
Man and beast shall be covered with sackcloth and call loudly to God; every man shall turn from his evil way and from the violence he has in hand.
Who knows, God may relent and forgive, and withhold his blazing wrath, so that we shall not perish."
When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them; he did not carry it out.