An assertion that Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, a Muslim, is tolerant of divergent religious beliefs has been met with stiff opposition from key members of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and close associates of Former President John Dramani Mahama.
This was after the Head Pastor of Ebenezer Methodist Congregation in Breman in the Ashanti Region, Very Reverend Benjamin Akwesi Ansong, had commended Dr Bawumia for his understanding of religious diversity and tolerance.
Dr Bawumia responded to the church’s invitation to join them for its 31st Night Service and he was accompanied by his wife, Samira, and other senior government officials.
Welcoming him to the Church, Very Reverend Ansong told the congregation of his admiration for the Vice 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.
“So if today we Christians have gathered here to express our joy and the Vice President (a Muslim) has joined us, we have to be extremely grateful to God for what he has done for our country Ghana. It is something we must hold so firmly.
“If God has touched his heart and he has joined us here, we are happy and we have to pray for him too as we pray, and also pray for His Excellency President Nana Akufo-Addo and the leadership of this country.
“The Bible says give honour to whom honour is due, so let us all rise up and pray for our guest.”
Very Reverend Akwesi prayed for the Vice President, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as well as the country for continuous good leadership and prosperity respectively.
Delivering a short remark, Dr. Bawumia urged the congregation to continue to uphold the peace the country enjoys by being tolerant of people with diverse religious beliefs.
“We are one people and this is what will sustain the peace we enjoy as a country,” Dr. Bawumia told the congregation.
However, reacting to this development in a Facebook post, a former Deputy Minister of Information, Felix Kwakye Ofosu said “It is not clear to me what thinking has gone into the notion in the Bawumia camp that religious gymnastics will repair his battered image occasioned by his disastrous economic performance that has brought untold hardships to Ghanaians.
“One of them is the ridiculously populist benchmark values discounts that yielded no tangible benefits to Ghanaians.It’s reversal, effective Tuesday,4th January,2022,as contained in the letter below, will however lead to an increase in duty on imported items which will quickly be passed on to consumers.
“This is estimated to lead to a 30% increase in the prices of imported items on the market. Bawumia can dance, summersault and perform acrobatics in churches but that would not extricate him from the blame he will bear for the devastation this reversal will cause in Ghanaian households.”
Similarly, an aide to Mr Mahama, James Agyenim Boateng also tweeted “A man who mocks another for attending an Islamic programme cannot be celebrated for attending Christian programmes.
“Neither can he be described as having an admirable sense of religious tolerance. Stop the hypocrisy!”