27 Mar 2017

Appointments Committee Or Assurances Committee?

Parliament's committee which scrutinizes political appointees before they can be sworn into office seems to be losing focus. This committee is tasked to assess nominees for competencies based on the offices they are being designated and to approve or reject same if they do not meet the laid down criteria. But, over the years, it appears the relevance of the committee is waning. This must be a big worry to all concerned Ghanaians.


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I believe some of you will agree with me that this noble committee is turning out to be a platform to embarrass opponents who were once vociferous during the campaign season. I still recall Hon. Fiifi Kwetey's experience in 2009, when he was appointed deputy finance minister and had to face this committee. At the vetting, several questions were asked about certain comments he made in the past which the then majority in parliament deemed inappropriate and false, especially with his "Setting the records straight" press conferences. He tried explaining himself out but the minority wouldn't take any of his explanations. He was made to appear a liar in the eyes of the public.
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Parliament of Ghana. Image Courtesy: Ghanaweb
In 2013, the minority in parliament abstained from the vetting because they believed the elections were not fairly conducted. They wanted to sue the president and were, therefore, not going to participate in what they believed to be an 'illegality'. The majority then had to vet their own ministers who all sailed through smoothly.


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The 2017 vetting of ministers, with both the minority and majority in full swing, has not been without hiccups. From the Senior Minister, Hon. Osafo-Maafo, to the Gender Minister, Hon. Otiko Djaba, it has not been smooth sailing. At Ms. Djaba's vetting, one could easily recall the 2009 experience of Hon. Fiifi Kwetey. Ms. Otiko Djaba had made some unsavory comments against the then president, H. E. John Mahama, for being "wicked and evil". The minority demanded she apologized to the former president. She refused to do so, explaining that those words were not insults but a description of how the former president handled the SADA 'rot'. This has not gone down well with the minority, with some threatening to sue her in court for not doing the mandatory national service. For your information, some ministers have been approved unanimously, some of whom have also not done their national service.

As if the above are not enough, Parliament's Appointments Committee seems to be turning itself into an 'assurances committee' than a vetting committee. Many appointees who appeared before the committee are often asked questions like, "The ministry is blah blah blah. Can you assure this committee that when you are made the minister of blah blah blah, so-so and so will be done?" This appears to be one of the most used lines of questioning at the committee when it becomes clear they have nothing relevant to ask the nominees. What does the committee need those assurances for? What if the assurances are given and later the minister decides to do something different, would the appointment be revoked?

People are bound to change their minds when they get more and better information. So, a ministerial nominee with limited information about the ministry may decide to chart a new course after he or she gets more information. Hence, why ask nominees for assurances when you should be scrutinizing their academic and professional backgrounds, social backgrounds, misconduct, and so on?

23 Mar 2017

How Do You Know God?

Most Christians, especially pastors, claim they know God. But do you know what it takes to know God? God is our Father and we should desire to know Him every day. God wants us to know Him so we can serve Him better. He often reveals Himself to us in so many ways and forms.

It is common to hear so many pastors and preachers of the gospel claim that they know God. They often cite success in one endeavor or the other as a justification of their knowledge of God. What they forget is that God knows them, even before they were formed in the womb. That may be the reason why they are being blessed and not because they have so much knowledge of the workings of God and His kingdom.
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Do you really know God? What does it take to know God?

Paul the apostle admonished the Philippians;
"That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death;" - Philippians 3:10.
Paul, a great apostle who experienced the power of God greatly and could talk to God directly, admitted that he still didn't know God as much as he should. If Paul, with the great influence he had over the church in his day and even today, could admit that he didn't know God, who else can claim much knowledge of God?


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God reveals Himself to us in different ways but we are often busy with our earthly lives that He goes unnoticed. God, therefore, allows suffering to befall us in order to know Him. Because of this, one person may know Him to be the Healer without knowing Him as the Great Provider. Another may know Him as the Great Provider without knowing Him as the Merciful.

Some people blaspheme about knowing God without having an experience of God's power in their lives. It takes a lot to know God. It takes suffering, sickness, poverty, financial crisis, joblessness, broken relationships, barrenness, disappointment, rejection and much more to know God.

It doesn't take only regular church attendance to know God. Saul was an Antichrist before God revealed Himself to him on his way to do evil at Damascus. It also doesn't take a reading of scripture alone to know God. You need obedience and commitment.


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The church is not a fashion show. What you wear to church has nothing to do with knowing God. God searches the heart and not the physical. Is your heart clean and free? A greedy heart and lustful eyes are neither clean nor free. Your financial contribution in the church means little to God. You can't bribe God with huge sums of money and gifts. Jesus admonished the rich young ruler;

"If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.”

So, don't feel too proud about anything. It's because God knows you. You're being blessed because God knows you, not because of your good works. You're healthy and everything seems to be going in your favor because God knows you. In all you do, say, and think, be guided by the one fact that it is because God knows you, not the other way round.