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We either elect or do not elect – Cardinal Turkson on calls for Ofori-Atta’s removal

 The Chancellor of Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Cardinal Peter Appiah Turkson, has reacted to calls for the dismissal of the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta. 

Responding to a question that sought his views on demands for Mr Ofori-Atta’s removal from Office, Cardinal Turkson said: “One of the ways we have for responding to those type of things are when the time comes for us to exercise our rights, then we either elect or do not elect, approve or do not approve, continue or do not continue.” 

The question was posed by a journalist after he had delivered the 4th University of Professional Studies’ (UPSA) Leadership Lecture Series in Accra on Wednesday, November 9, 2022. 

The Lecture was on the theme: “The tragedy of the commons: Leadership for the common good.” 

Cardinal Turkson said electorates exercising their right to vote “is statutory pathway in making our demands heard.” 

He said there was a relationship between the electorate and the elected and the respect of that relationship constituted justice. 

“The President respecting the demands of the electorate will be his act of justice. The electorate obeying or heeding to the directive of the leadership part that the President establishes for them would also be their justice,” he said. 

A group of Members of the Majority in Parliament earlier called for the removal of the Finance Minister, saying the move would help to restore hope in the financial sector and reverse the downward trend of the economy. 

The group however ‘rescinded’ their call after meeting with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo over the matter. 

The Minority in Parliament has also filed a motion for the impeachment of Mr Ofori-Atta, citing poor economic management, non-performance among the basis for the move. 

Responding to other national issues, Cardinal Turkson expressed concern over the destruction of the country’s water bodies and environment by illegal mining activities. 

He said the country “should not be carried away by short-term gains” in the quest to make wealth from its natural resources. 

Cardinal Turkson said failure on the part of the country to manage its “endowment” well could lead to a curse. 

“If we want to embrace long-term vision, let’s embrace that and see how we make short term vision flow into the long term vision but not pursue short term vision to the detriment of long term vision,” he said. 

Cardinal Turkson urged leaders to understand the realities of the people they are working with, saying: “you cannot exercise true leadership if you do not understand the dignity of the people.” 

“The goods of the earth is not destined for the benefit of one and the exclusion of the other,” he added. 

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Abdullah Anaman
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