By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
There is a news report on Ghanaweb.com, a banner-headline news report, to be precise, in which the General Overseer of the Christian Action Faith Ministries, Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams, is reported to be claiming that "the gift of prophecy is not meant for predicting election results" (See "Gift of Prophecy Not For Predicting Elections - Duncan-Williams" 7/21/13).
Upon closer reading, the critical thinker clearly realizes that, in fact, Bishop Duncan-Williams had made absolutely no such curious comment or observation; and that in reality, it is the anonymous reporter who is expediently projecting his/her personal opinions and ideological proclivities onto the mind and person of the renowned prelate. We know this for a fact because towards the end of the news article, the reporter has Archbishop Duncan-Williams aptly saying that "Whether certain prophecies are 'genuine or false, it is not my job to attack and insult them. You leave them to time. For the Bible says that what thing so ever God does shall be forever,' so anyhting that is of God shall stand, and what is not of God withers away with time."
The preceding quote genuinely sounds like the logical Christocentric argumentation of an intelligent and astute cleric like Archbishop Duncan-Williams, and not the jejune lead paragraph of the article which clearly insults the intelligence and integrity of Archbishop Duncan-Williams by presuming to lecture his congregation on the intent/motive of Divine Providence for distributing prophetic talents.
This is the kind of sloppy journalism that the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) ought to unreservedly condemn. Bishop Duncan-Williams may also do his reputation and integrity a lot of good by demanding a prompt retraction and an unqualified apology from both the writer and publisher of such trash. Ghanaweb.com sources the article to Radioxyzonline.com; and so tracking down the culprits should not involve any byzantine sleuthing.
The motive of both the reporter and the publisher is also clear - and it is simply to mischievously play Archbishop Duncan-Williams against the dynamic and homilectically fiery Pastor Mensah-Otabil, who has been widely reported elsewhere to have predicted a civil strife, should the verdict by the Atuguba-presided Supreme Court be unfairly delivered. Indeed, one prominent Ghanaian media hack has even been quoted to have asked Dr. Mensah-Otabil to see a shrink or psychiatrist.
The interesting thing to note here is that whether some people resent Pastor Mensah-Otabil for delivering his prophecy or not, there are striking precedents of similar public reaction in the Christian Bible, most notably the prophetic prediction of Noah's Flood. What this simply means is that whether anybody likes it or not, and Ghanaians are no fools, if any aggrieved party to the ongoing 2012 presidential election petition decides that the best solution to its grievances can only be found on the battlefield, because our august Supreme Court has clearly proven itself to be incapable of delivering even-handed justice, then, of course, barring the direct intervention of Divine Providence, there is a piddling little that anybody can do.
But that the Duncan-Williams sermon on which the patently misleading news item under discussion was based was pre-recorded, makes the anonymous reporter's message all the more suspicious. As of this writing (7/21/13), I had yet to fully read the news report on Pastor Mensah-Otabil's alleged prophecy. Still, content-wise, I firmly do not believe that any significant details of the thrust of Pastor Mensah-Otabil's prophecy has been overlooked and/or ignored.
*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York
July 21, 2013