Members of the opposition National Democratic Congress now appear to be in overdrive with their despicable and vicious campaign against Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia, just days after he was elected as the 2024 presidential candidate of the governing New Patriotic Party.
Yesterday on Randy Abbey’s ‘Good Morning Ghana’, the Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram, Sam George, was allowed unfettered space to subject Dr Bawumia to what many have described as unwarranted verbal attacks, and describing the Vice-President as “a religious prostitute”, just because he had been a champion of religious coexistence, especially between Muslims and Christians.
The NPP 2024 presidential candidate has been hailed by majority of Ghanaians for leading an effort to promote religious tolerance in the country, but Sam George and his likes in the NDC see that as an “abomination” for which Dr Bawumia should not be voted for to become the President of Ghana.
A highly charged Sam George claimed that Dr. Bawumia is inconsistent in his religious identity, berating him that he is a Christian and Muslim at the same time, and casting doubts about the Vice-President’s faith as a true Muslim.
“The best description you can give him is that he is a Muslim by day, and a Christian by night. A religious prostitute cannot be President…No true Muslim believes that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Saviour. No true Muslim kneels before a Catholic priest or pastor for him to lay hands on them – only Bawumia…
“Bawumia goes to church, claiming Jesus Christ is our Lord and personal Saviour. He is not a true Muslim,” Sam George stated with the force of his life.
Meanwhile, two separate groups of clergymen from the Ashanti Region and Anglican Diocese of Accra yesterday visited Dr Bawumia to congratulate him on his election as the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party.
“I truly appreciate this gesture, and this will further deepen my longstanding close relationship with the church and deepen religious tolerance in Ghana,” he posted on his Facebook page.
Trumpeting religious tolerance
Dr. Bawumia has always been commended for encouraging Ghanaians to make religious tolerance their watchword to sustain the peace of the country.
Recently, at New Fadaman in Accra, he said peace cannot be achieved without tolerance, stressing that it is the reason people need to be tolerant of one another in order to smoothen the process of peace.
Dr Bawumia urged all Muslims to reflect on the teachings, values and life of Prophet Mohammed and how they can continuously inculcate his noble values into “our lifestyles to make our communities, nation and world a peaceful place for all”.
“One of the fundamental principles of Islam is peace, and as adherents of the Islamic religion, we are supposed to be agents of peace wherever we find ourselves and in whichever situation.
“We often talk about peace and the need for all of us to be peaceful; we all know the essence of peace and what it means to our existence as a people,” he said.
He has also called for increased acceptance of the many divergent religions in the country to safeguard the peace Ghana enjoys.
In particular, Vice-President Bawumia has been calling for greater tolerance and acceptance between the two largest religions in the country, Christianity and Islam, pointing out that the beliefs of the two religions have more similarities than differences.
Dr. Bawumia said Ghana’s acclaimed peace and stability is largely down to inter-faith tolerance, adding that at a time many countries are plagued by religious and political intolerance, Ghana ought to strengthen its respect for diversity.
“Today, we live in a time of unprecedented challenges, where divisions and conflicts based on religion, ethnicity and politics continue to plague and undermine national and global stability,” Dr. Bawumia said.
“In our increasingly interconnected world, we must recognize that our destinies are intertwined, regardless of our faith, nationality, political differences and ideologies or cultural background. It is worth noting and remembering that no true religion advocates hatred or violence and that true faith promotes love, compassion, understanding and peaceful coexistence,” he added.
The Moderator of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EP) Ghana, Rt Rev. Lt Col. Bliss Divine Kofi Agbeko (retd), recently observed that the ability of the Vice-President to relate well with Christians and Muslims is commendable, and as such must be emulated by all.
He said such an attitude engenders peace in the society, and expressed the hope that such leadership qualities are replicated in every facet of society where there is a Muslim-Christian relationship.
Similarly, the Resident Minister of Ebenezer Methodist Congregation in Breman, in the Ashanti Region, Very Reverend Benjamin Akwesi Ansong, also commended Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia for his understanding of religious diversity and tolerance.
Welcoming Bawumia at the Church’s 31st Night Service last year, Very Reverend Benjamin Akwesi Ansong told the Congregation of his admiration for the Vic- President’s appreciation of religious tolerance.
“We have in our midst tonight Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, and it is refreshing. This shows his understanding of religious tolerance,” the Methodist Pastor said, amidst cheers.
“This is a Christian gathering, but he has thought it wise to demonstrate his love and joy, which is in line with what the Bible preaches that, rejoice with those who are rejoicing,” he said.