In preparation for the New Year, the Ghana Police Service have reportedly warned religious leaders to desist from New Year prophecies of “harm, danger and death” and others that could “create tension and panic” in the Anglophone West African country in the Year 2022.
This was reportedly disclosed in a statement signed by its Director, Public Affairs, Supt. Alexander Obeng.
The statement disclosed that, “As the year 2021 draws to a close, the Ghana Police Service wishes to draw the attention of Ghanaians, especially religious groups, to the fact that whereas we have the right to religion, freedom of worship and free speech, all of these rights are subject to the respect for the rights and freedoms of others according to our laws.”
It added that, “Over the years, communication of prophecies of harm, danger and death, by some religious leaders, have created tension and panic in the Ghanaian society and put the lives of many people in fear and danger.”
It maintained that, “It is also a crime for a person, by means of electronic communications service, to knowingly send a communication that is false or misleading and likely to prejudice the efficiency of life-saving service or to endanger the safety of any person.”
It noted that, “A person found guilty under these laws could be liable to a term of imprisonment of up to five years. We therefore wish to caution all Ghanaians, especially religious groups and leaders to be measured in their utterances, especially how they communicate prophecies, which may injure the right of others and the public interest.”
It remarked that, “The Ghana Police Service wishes to place on record that the Police are not against prophecies; we acknowledge that we Ghanaians are a religious people who know, and believe in, the centrality of God in our lives.”
It revealed that, “The Police wish to assure all religious organizations that we are committed to ensuring maximum security during the 31st December night, end of year services and beyond. There should be no apprehensions therefore about undertaking the various activities. We ask only that everyone keeps within the law and is mindful of the welfare of each other.”
It reaffirmed that, “We also urge all Ghanaians to observe the COVID-19 protocols religiously so as to protect ourselves, families and friends from this ravaging pandemic. We also take this opportunity to wish all Ghanaians a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.”