BY KOJO ANSAH
THE CHAIRMAN of The Church of Pentecost, Apostle Eric Nyamekye, has advised members of the church to pay no heed to criticisms by some sections of the pubic who are opposed to the church’s decision to construct prison (correctional) facilities.
According to the Chairman, the decision to construct prison facilities has been gravely misconstrued since it is not meant to encourage crime but to decongest overcrowded prison facilities in Ghana.
Apostle Nyamekye said this on Tuesday, December 3, 2019, when he met ministers and officers in the Kasoa Area at the Kasoa Central Assembly auditorium to throw light on the 5˗year strategic vision of the church, dubbed “Vision 2023˸ Possessing the Nations”
As part of the strategic approaches adopted in realising Vision 2023, the church has partnered the government in undertaking some social intervention initiatives, notable amongst them being the construction of prisons facilities, which has been ridiculed and backlashed by some quarters of the general public.
Reacting to this, the Chairman said that “as a church, we are in the business of seeking and saving sinners. So essentially sinners are our clients. It is, therefore, expected that we would take an interest in facilities where sinners are kept.”
He further explained that the construction of prisons by the church is part of efforts to assist the government in solving the challenge of overcrowding in Ghanaian prisons.
“The Nsawam Medium Security Prison, I am told, was built for 800 inmates, but currently houses close to 3500 inmates. That is an excess of about 2700 inmates! If as a church, we can put up very big and magnificent auditoriums, which we only use on Sunday mornings and in the evenings, and look on unconcerned as our brothers and sisters struggle to find a place to lay their heads, then what kind of followers of Jesus Christ are we?” he quizzed.
In addition to decongesting prisons, the Chairman said that the prison would serve as a correctional facility where inmates would be transformed with the gospel message of Jesus Christ, equipped with skills and reformed in order for them to be reintegrated into society as responsible citizens.
He noted that the church had taken appropriate steps to give inmates who have the ability to pursue education at all levels (basic, secondary and tertiary) the opportunity to do so.
He said the correctional centres will also have workshop and church auditorium among other facilities that would contribute to the reformation of inmates.
Other social interventions being undertaken by the church in line with Vision 2023 are the construction of boreholes, bus stop shelters, CHPS compounds, police stations as well as an Environmental Care Campaign.
The Chairman, therefore, urged members of the church to own Vision 2023 and commit to ensuring its effective implementation.