23rd July 2024

The management of the National Youth Authority (NYA) has condemned the actions of an Anglican priest who was seen kissing some students at a church in a video that has gone viral on social media.

The Authority says the conduct does not augur well and inure to the overall development of the youth, particularly young females who ought to be protected.

A video that went viral this week showed a chaplain kissing three female students of the St. Monica’s College of Education in Asante Mampong.

The said priest, Rev Fr Balthazar Obeng Larbi, fully dressed in his cassock, was seen kissing some girls who were on stage with him, in turns.

The first two kisses got the congregants screaming with excitement. However, the third female student could be seen hesitating to give in to the priest’s gesture, but was forced to do so in the end.

Abuse of office

The NYA, in a press statement signed by its Acting Chief Executive Officer, Nelson Owusu Ansah, said the Authority perceive the conduct of the priest as an infringement on the rights of the students and an abuse of his office.

The Authority noted that it cannot come to terms with the priest’s conduct, especially during this COVID-19 period when the public is admonished to abide by strict protocols, especially that of social distancing.

“We are by this statement calling on the Ministry of Education to conduct their own internal investigations and the clergy, particularly the Christian Council of Ghana to immediately take steps to withdraw the said priest from the school even as investigations continue. We further call on appropriate authorities to conduct thorough investigations and subsequently make their findings public as a matter of urgency,” the statement said.

According to the NYA, the conduct of the priest goes to undermine the efforts of the Authority. It added that the conduct also undermines the noble initiatives and programmes being implemented by the government of President Nana Addo Darkwa Akufo-Addo which are geared at improving the lot of the Ghanaian youth.

The Authority reiterated its commitment to continue to ensure that the country’s youth in general, and young females in particular, are well protected in schools, communities and places of worship. It pledged to continue to work, as per their mandate, espoused by the National Youth Authority Act 2016 (Act 939) in the supreme interest of the Ghanaian youth.

Meanwhile, the embattled priest is reported to have been relieved of his position by the authorities of the Anglican Church.

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