The Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Rt Rev Prof Joseph Obiri Yeboah Mante, according to a report carried by the Daily Graphic yesterday, has expressed worry over the increasing addiction of the youth to betting and called for efforts to check the trend.
He, the report continued, contended that the situation had left many of them in pain and poorer, as the betting companies continued to cash in on their vulnerabilities. Moderator Yeboah Mante also noted that the youth faced several challenges, such as drug addiction, sex and betting, which, he said, were detrimental to their wellbeing and communities.
He, therefore, called on the church and other relevant stakeholders to help instil discipline among the youth, and also guide them on to the path of growth. Rt Rev Prof Joseph Obiri Yeboah Mante also urged the government to come up with the necessary strategies to check such activities. He further advised churches to set up effective counselling units to help rehabilitate persons with addictions.
The problems of betting and drug addiction, among other social vices, are serious issues that every individual, churches and organisations should not brush aside. Prosperity, in our opinion, lies in hard work, but regrettably, majority of the youth think otherwise. To them, if betting will bring quick money, why indulge in hard work, which, at the end of the day, does not satisfy their needs.
The Chronicle is, therefore, not surprised that on Saturdays and Sundays when the European Football League matches are being played, the youth troop to the betting centres, not to entertain themselves with the games, but to bet on the results. Certainly, the economy of Ghana cannot grow up to the level we are all looking for if this is the mind-set of our youth.
We concede that unemployment, especially among the youth, is a serious challenge that we, as a country, are grappling with, but this should not be used as an excuse to over indulge in betting, which does not even guarantee a regular income to the bettor. But the big question is: can Rev Prof Joseph Obiri Yeboah Mante and the church in Ghana absolve themselves from the issue under discussion?
The answer, we dare say, is no – the Church and the Mosque have a big role to play in clamping down on what Rev Mante considers moral decadence. The Church, in particular, is making so much money, but the leaders are not investing it into productive sectors that will, at the end of the day, provide employment for the youth.
As a matter of fact, some of our pastors prefer riding in posh cars and building mansions to establishing factories to employ the youth. The Chronicle, however, admits that some of the churches, especially the orthodox ones, are doing well, as they have invested in the education and health sectors of the economy.
We believe if all the churches are to toe the same line, the challenge would have been addressed by now, albeit halfway. The Chronicle is, therefore, calling on our religious leaders to review their personal life styles and see how best to address the unemployment conundrum, which is driving most of the youth into betting, though, in our opinion, this should not be the justification for their conducts.
Again, majority of the youth troop to mosques and churches every Friday and Sunday, and if they are going wayward, it means the impact of the Church and the Mosque is not being felt. This calls for the review of our religious teachings to focus on the moral aspect, which has now been thrown to the dogs.
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