A Reverend Minister superintending the Evangelical Presbyterian (EP) Church in Jasikan in the northern part of the Volta Region, Rev. F.W.K. Atta has been banished from Jasikan and the Buem Traditional Area for campaigning against carving out of the proposed Oti Region out of the Volta Region.
Rev. Atta also was handed a suspension from the leadership of the Church as a form of punishment to serve notice to other servants of God to stay away from politics.
The Rev. Minister was reported to have used his pulpit to campaign against the creation of the new region to the dislike of the people in the area resulting in his banishment.
In an interview with the Gyasehene of Jasikan and acting Chief of the area, Nana Osei Boakye, the decision to banish the pastor was in his (the pastor) own interest.
He narrated that about two months ago, residents of the town who were members of the E.P Church in Jasikan came to report the Minister for expressing his opposition to the call for partitioning the Volta Region in two.
Nana Osei Boakye said the pastor was quoted to have said among other things that “there is no way Oti region will be created today nor tomorrow.”
He said although the Rev. Atta (accompanied by other Rev Ministers and elders of the Church) admitted preaching against Oti and apologised when summoned before the chiefs and elders of the town, it was decided for him to leave the area by September 11.
The Gyasehene clarified that the pastor was not banished out of hatred for him but for his safety and also to ensure, peace, continued relationship with the church and promotion of the proposed Oti Region agenda.
The Moderator of the EP Church, Right Rev. Dr. Seth Agidi who spoke to Voltaonlinegh.com said the leadership of the Church took the decision to replace the Minister after traditional leaders in the area said they could not guarantee the safety his continuous stay there following his anti-Oti campaign.
On the suspension, the Moderator said, it was appropriate at the time to calm nerves. According to him, it was wrong for the man of God to dabble in politics, saying he was there to preach the gospel of Christ among other things but not get involved in issues as sensitive as creation of a new region.
Right Rev Agidi however, disclosed that the leadership of the Church had extended an invite to the suspended Pastor which he is yet to honour and based on the outcome of that meeting, a decision will be made whether to overturn the earlier decision to suspend him or maintain his suspension.
Last month, an anti Oti Region campaigner, John Denutsui who was discrediting the creation of the Proposed Oti region in Dambai is reported to have received serious beatings after his comments and conduct were considered provocative by residents. It took the intervention of a leader of the Ewe community at Chonke, Togbe Dordoe who sent him (the victim) to the EP Clinic in Dambai to save him.