Retired Adventist GC Officer Speaks Out Against Corruption in Ghana
By AT News Team, July 20, 2014
Dr. Matthew Bediako, who served as executive secretary of the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church until his retirement in 2010, expressed concern about corruption in Ghana where he spoke on July 10 for the graduation ceremonies at Valley View University. "If you want to create wealth, you should not let it be 'kalabule money,'" he said, using what one newspaper columnist in the country called a "loaded term" referring to fraudulent means of making money.
"It signifies the decade between 1972 and 1982 when our country seemed to be spiraling from crisis to crisis and most Ghanaians had lost confidence in our public institutions," explained Kobina Kennedy. "Then, as now, inflation was high … there was a government party in disarray … many groups which depend on the public purse for their pay were up in arms … people in government got rich by the day even as government got more broke by the day." Despite the fact that some things are different, particularly oil wealth, the situation is dangerous, Kennedy wrote.
Bediako called on the Ghanaian government to push ahead with investigations that have already been authorized. He asked why, after establishing several parliamentary committees to investigate corruption, no one has been prosecuted. He also asked why individuals who have committed financial misconduct are either promoted or transferred. "It seems words like accountability, transparency, integrity, honesty and truthfulness are no longer in our vocabulary," Bediako was quoted by the Ghana News Association (GNA). "They have been erased from the minds of our people."
Valley View University is operated by the Adventist denomination and has become one of the top educational institutions in the country. It was chartered in 2006 and by last year was recognized as one of the seven top universities out of the 60 accredited universities (public and private) in Ghana. Enrollment totaled 8,174 in the current 2013-2014 school year, a 31 percent increase over the previous year. A full-time faculty of 111 published 86 peer-reviewed articles and books last year.
Four new programs have been submitted to the National Accreditation Board and are expected to be added to the university's offerings next year: a Masters of Education, a Bachelor of Science in economics and another in environmental studies, and a degree in journalism. A total of 1,084 students were awarded degrees at the ceremonies during which Bediako spoke.
The Adventist denomination has a membership of 375,000 among the 25 million population of Ghana with 1,168 local churches. At least one church member, the Hon. Kwame Osei-Prempeh, has served as an elected member of parliament since 1997. Recently the first Adventist minister to serve as a chaplain in the Ghana Armed Forces, Capt. Peter Nyanko Duadu, was appointed administrative officer of all military chaplains. In November Prof. Daniel Buor, vice chancellor of Valley View University, was presented the prestigious Gold Award of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Science for his research in public health and medical geography.