By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Folks, if there is any single Ghanaian "Man-of'-God" who deserves respect and praise as far as public comments on the Ghanaian electoral process is concerned, it should be none other than Bishop Charles Agyin-Asare, the founder of Perez Chapel International.
He is reported to have said that the Electoral Commission must be allowed to do its work and must not be stampeded in taking a decision over the voters’ register. (See http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Voters-register-You-don-t-manage-elections-Agyinasare-to-NDC-NPP-389148).
To him, it is the EC that is mandated by the Ghanaian constitution to manage the electoral process, not any of the political parties. What a profound insight! Only someone really touched by the hand of God can have such an insight!!
No matter how others may see him, I regard Bishop Agyin-Asare as forthright in this sense and will give him all the praise that he deserves. I have known him for decades now and watched video clips on his "spiritual performances". I also know what he did in the early days of Kufuor's assumption of office in Ghana in 2001 and how Rev. Samuel Asante Antwi (the retired Methodist Presiding Bishop, or whatever the title may be, a shamelessly avowed NPP spiritual pillar) lured him and others into a group of Men-of-God who converged at the Osu Castle to "exorcise" the evil spirits that they claimed Rawlings had established there to desecrate the seat of government.
What will it benefit a “Man-of-God (the so-called God’s representative on earth) if he should divide ranks for personal aggrandizement instead of putting all humanity together for the sake of peace, fellow-feeling, and personal security in the life hereafter? And when it comes to mere pottage (the “bread-and-butter” that dominates and catalyzes the affairs of such Men-of-God in Ghana), huge question marks pop up. When he who pays the piper (in this case the misguided, unconscionable politicians) steal from the people? Why is corruption all over the place despite the sermonization by the Men-of-God? And who says that are not corrupt? I have laughed a lot at some who agreed with Akufo-Addo that he is neither corrupt nor incorruptible. For real? One major challenge for humanity is corruption (Read closely how Adam and Eve fell).
Let’s get back on track. The Ghanaian Men-of-God who walked the political landscape at the exit of Rawlings were instrumental in Kufuor's not wanting to reside at the Osu Castle and his consequent stealing of Ghana's 41 million Cedis to renovate his private Airport Residential Area from where he ran government business. Meantime, the bungalow thief, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey (then Minister of Presidential Affairs) had caused over a billion Cedis to be spent renovating the Osu Castle. It's a depressing story.
Not long after the performance at the Osu Castle, Bishop Agyin-Asare dissociated himself from the circle of NPP politically motivated "Men-of-God" and has since rediscovered himself to function and be respected for what he is.
His bold assertions regarding the ongoing needless agitations by the NPP on the voters register and the NDC's critical opposition to the NPP (and its allies) portrays him as better informed and more conscientious than all others. Of course, the leaders of the orthodox and unorthodox religious communities have added their voice to that of the NPP to ask that the EC should renew the voters register---even without thinking beyond their narrow scope to look for other possibilities, given the country's dire economic situation and time-frame for Election 2016. They have virtually endorsed the NPP's stentorian demand for a new voters register in lieu of which there will be violence in Ghana.
Coming out with his bold warning to the NPP and NDC (for that matter any other institution undermining the EC). Bishop Agyin-Asare makes a huge difference. Indeed, he points us to a new direction altogether. If we cannot trust the EC to do its work, why do we still have it in place?
He also makes it clear that the campaign of vilification being waged by Akufo-Addo and his gang is needless, if not absolutely dangerous to Ghana's interests.
The nub is: If we have a problem that is peculiarly "Ghanaian", why don't we find solutions to it locally (which is possible)? Why over-extend matters as if there is a hidden agenda to "burn" the country if Akufo-Addo is not voted into office at Election 2016?
I respect Bishop Agyin-Asare for making the difference at many other levels. He has proved that when it comes to politics, those called by God to "lead the flock" should put bread and butter behind them and tell the truth. And his truth is that it is the EC that has the constitutional mandate to oversee anything regarding Ghana's electoral process.
And the constitutional empowerment also makes provisions for inter-party hob-nobbing so the EC can gather ideas from the various political parties and other stakeholders to do its work. That's exactly what Charlotte Osei did when she asked for reports from the various parties and stakeholders for study by the EC so the issues can be appraised and placed in context for the proper solutions to be found to sticky points.
And she has slated October 29 for interactions on how to clean the stables. So, even before anything is done by that date, why are the NPP people in arms? Is it their demand that matters more than anything else affecting Ghana's future?
Indeed, Bishop Agyin-Asare has raised important issues that should be discussed and factored into how Ghanaians approach national issues. The truth from him is that no matter what anybody or any political party does, it is the EC that must determine the political direction of the country. In this kind of democracy the EC must be given the free hand to do its work. What is difficult about this?
Bishop Agyin Asare's stance challenges Ghanaians to respect the institutions of state set up for the purposes of governance. Not until they do so, those institutions cann't funbction. And it is also a challenge for the government to support those institutions no matter what happens, whether their operations work against the government or not. In civilized democracies, strong state institutions dictate the pace. That is why democracy triumphs over dictatorship. Bishop Agyin-Asare's observation lays it bare on that score.
Unlike him, those in the clergy who have foolishly politicized their calling are gradually being exposed for contempt; and they are losing members. We know them for what they are and will not want to have anything to do with them. God works in mysterious ways, if they care to know.
It takes more than a mere bravado for a "man-of-God" to make the kind of assertion that Bishop Agyin-Asare has made. That is why he stands tall in my estimation and earns maximum respect. He has thrown a challenge to all those abusing their calling for "bread-and-butter" largesse and openly pursuing causes that lead to disaster. Bishop Agyin-Asare deserves commendation for his insightful observation. Good job, Man-of-God!!
I shall return…
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