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The NPP’s defeat: How religion did it (Part II)

Mon, 24 Dec 2012 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

These hypocrites didn’t stop there. They exploited every bit of opportunity to present the NDC and President Mahama as anti-Christ, anti-Christianity, and everything anti in the hope that the Christian and Muslim communities would see things through their eyes and translate that picture into a voting down of the incumbent.

Their utterances, especially in the aftermath of the Mensa Otabil fracas, confirmed that they were exploiting the religious element, convinced that they had done enough to win the hearts of Christians, particularly.

While all this scheming was going on within the NPP’s own circles, some opportunistic religious leaders were themselves taking the initiative to spread the NPP’s message. We heard all that they said, especially in support of Akufo-Addo’s fee-free SHS education, which they trumpeted as manna from God to be snatched without hesitation.

All of a sudden, all manner of religious leaders in the Charismatic domain put behind them their petty bickering and collaborated to campaign for the NPP. They set themselves up as the messengers of God with visions on Akufo-Addo’s victory to propagate.

In fact, it was this particular political evangelism that instilled optimism in Akufo and his supporters to such an extent that they won’t prepare for anything but victory at the polls. What we see happening today is the direct upshot of that misplaced optimism because those so-called Men-of-God had deceived the NPP gang that victory was theirs.

And once fixated on that conviction, they won’t budge in their belligerence even when the results showed that all those visions and assurances of God’s being with Akufo and the NPP were the figments of confused minds that didn’t know that God won’t grant the wishes of hypocrites with hardened mindsets on mayhem (“All-die-be-die”) and wanton disrespect for civility in national politics. For the NPP leaders not to know how they made themselves captives of these charlatans parading as Men-of-God is pitiable. That they can still not see things clearly to separate fantasy from reality is equally pathetic. They are adamant and won’t either concede defeat or go to court as they’ve threatened more than the umpteenth time to do because they are still befogged by the useless assurances of their friends in the religious community. Take the case of Bismark Opesah Otoo, President of Jesus Delivery Ministries, for instance. He was the one who prophesied a one-touch victory Akufo-Addo by not less than 52 per cent. Many in the NPP snapped up his “prophecy” and waited for it to be fulfilled.

In the end, God distanced himself from such characters, but they won’t give in. Here is why: “God is not a man that he should lie. He is faithful and just and whatever He has said will surely come to pass,” said Prophet Otoo.

He said from all indications the main opposition leader won the December 7 elections, but some people decided to skew the results in favour of the incumbent President. Thus, his prediction was that God was about to do something that would marvel the people of Ghana in the days ahead.

God would do something to marvel Ghanaians just because Akufo-Addo didn’t win the elections? What is Akufo-Addo to God to become the object of God’s admiration, favour, and vengeance in Ghana?

Then again, let’s see the example of another Man-of-God, Rev. Owusu Bempah of Glorious Word Power Ministries, Odorkor, Accra, who had also predicted that Nana Akufo-Addo would win but might not be declared the winner. He has taken his prophecy to a whole new level, saying that God spoke to him about the difficulties the NPP would face in the aftermath of the 2012 general elections. He claimed that he had prophesied of the NPP’s electoral victory a year ago and “believes the trend of current events is a clear manifestation that what God said to him has come to pass.”

And the Lord said unto me: “The NPP would win this election but if care isn’t taken, they wouldn’t taste power and the aftermath could plunge our nation into chaos… means Nana Addo would win this election but could be boxed out from tasting power.”

“That prophesy has come to pass because the NPP say they have proof to show they won the elections...the NDC is also claiming they won the elections but I am not the judge in Ghana. Let us allow our judges to do their work to make peace prevail,” he said.

Do you see the craftiness/cunning in the last part of this Man-of-God’s assertions? He is not a judge, coming after the election results had been declared. Thus, he urged the NPP leadership to lessen the tense situation in the country by remaining calm and just focus on fighting their case in court if they feel cheated. “People are scared and stomachs are turning... even on Sundays, people don’t attend church in their numbers. People used to attend my church and had no seats to sit on in the past but you can’t compare the numbers I have now to that of the past... I am not saying this because I need somebody’s money to survive. No politician has given me a dime to feed on," he added.

Rev. Owusu Bempah debunked rumors that he had said that “if the NPP didn’t win the elections, then the NDC had manipulated the results.” Now that the truth is out, who will expect him not to be politically correct?

The truth is that these so-called Men-of-God know how to play their game, which politicians don’t know and play themselves into their hands. I will always insist that the NPP’s intransigence and wavering between going to court or judging the case themselves and declaring themselves winners (as Professor Mike Ocquaye has just done) has its root in the unwavering trust that the party’s leadership have placed in the predictions of those they regarded as God’s anointed messengers.

They have managed to tie these politicians to their apron strings (or cassocks) to be gleefully manipulated. As puppets dangling on strings being pulled by these Men-of-God, the NPP leaders will continue to believe such wayward prophecies and refuse to do the right thing till Election 2016 re-confirms their irrelevance. The truth for the NPP is that establishing good relationships with church leaders and using them for political campaigns won't necessarily rake in the votes because the members of the congregation outnumber their sycophantic prophets, pastors, bishops, reverends, and what-have-you? They voted according to their own conscience, not the drivel from their leaders.

Not until we accept the fact that religion is nothing but a tool with which to find meaning to our lives on earth, we will continue to misuse it to worsen our national problems and make life difficult for ourselves. How easily could these so-called Men-of-God prophesy Akufo-Addo’s victory and yet find it difficult to help find solutions to our endemic national problems? Does God not know that we are suffering to use them as conduits for our betterment? Some self-serving people!!

Religion serves useful purposes and must be upheld as an important element of our national psyche; but if it turns out to propel the kind of negative politics that we have seen so far in the case of the NPP, then, it will not take long to become an anathema. Countries that seek to refine their democracy take prompt steps to separate religion from the state, and are better off.

I shall return…

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Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.