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Opinions Tue, 19 Apr 2016

The shared destiny of Dr. Amoako Baah and Bishop Obinim

THE GHANAIAN PERCEPTION OF EDUCATION AND INTELLIGENCE

A careful examination of the litany of public utterances by Dr. Amoako Baah and Bishop Obinim sometimes compels one to seriously question the soundness of these two public figures. In juxtaposing these two men however, it beats the imagination that one has a doctorate, the other presumably not going beyond class six.

In Ghana, as elsewhere, some of our Ph.D.-holders such as Mr. Baah, and some of our non-degree-holders, such as Bishop Obinim, can be usefully placed on the same grading scale in terms of their intellectual strength and output. In other words, Mr. Baah and Bishop Obinim appear to occupy extremely different and polarizing stations on each side of the aisle of the education ladder, but they are evidently not in point of fact.

The simple point here is that, it does not necessarily take an advanced degree to make one wise, intelligent and productive to and in society. Neither does pre-university education necessarily impose or confer any severe dosage of environmental limitation on intellection.

But societies, like ours, expect more from the likes of Mr. Baah from the standpoint of positive intellectual output than from low-grade religious demagogues and potentates such as Bishop Obinim, say. Yet education is everything; yet also education is not everything. This is a natural dilemma.

A truism also.

Admittedly, we fail to realize that both men have consistently sidestepped the bounds of scientific objectivity when they sell their largely uneducated and uninformed pontifications to the larger public.

In the long run Ghana is the one that eventually becomes the loser in this arrangement, with its development and progress on the one hand and on the other hand, social solidarity suffering the more on account of the existential entrenchment of such intellectually underdeveloped citizens—call them paedormorphic intellectuals if you like—in the body politic.

Mr. Baah’s intellectual dogmatism is proverbial, and his undoing as well. A self-seeking talking head with no palpable ambulatory head. He loves to project a positive sense of intellectual formidability, yet he is all hot air and emptiness.

This positive sense of intellectual formidability is all false, a charade, a lie, if not a travesty of the human intellect. Just take a look at the corpus of his public interviews and publications.

His calculating intellection and his self-appointed ambassadorial role as a public intellectual are merely pontifical feints meant to court public sympathy for partisan politics and its more nuanced variant ethnocracy, assuredly the banes of social solidarity, of Ghana’s development economics and sociology.

At this point there is no need evaluating the scope of Mr. Baah’s work, a serious question which Prof. Lungu has effectively already looked at in his three-part series, “Prof. Amoako Baah’s Teaching is Almost Useless,” all published on Ghanaweb as well as on other heavily trafficked Ghana-affiliated web portals.

Bishop Obinim on the other hand does not fare any better, either, in the sphere of public intellectualism. Understandably, he has told the world: “The only thing I fear is the English language.” What is so fearful about the English language? And how dare he call the English language “thing”! And who is he to call or describe the English language, the respected language of the parrot which George Darko sang about on his sensational burgher-highlife track “Akoo Te Brofo,” to wit, even “the parrot speaks English,” in such unflattering and demeaning terms?

Bishop Obinim who recently claimed to have all the powers in the world to change into any animal of his choice cannot, this time around, change into a parrot and speak the English language. Still, we are yet to hear or read the British High Commissioner to Ghana, Mr. Jon Benjamin’s take on this “thing” called the English language.

The question then becomes: Which version of the Bible does Bishop Obinim read?

The English version or the Twi version? It really does not matter in the least which version he reads, as far as we are concerned. The other related question or corollary is this: Which political Bible does Mr. Baah read? Certainly, they read from the same political Bible given their utter ignorance of the complexity of human psychology. Both, we should add, also appear to be somewhat boustrophendonic in their confused and misaligned Cartesian-coordinates of public intellection! And both are diplomatic “liars” and explosive contradictions in and of themselves.

Nonetheless.

THE CRUDE POLITICAL THEOLOGY OF BISHOP OBINIM

Bishop Obinim reportedly said the following (with our emphasis):

“I’m human. But Jesus Christ, himself, told me that he has made [Bishop Obinim] an Angel. I can sleep in a coffin for over 5 hours and any Angelic spirit will leave my body to stand somewhere and look at the body that is in the coffin. I can sleep in it for 24 hours. This body will never die because that’s my spirit leaves the body every time I enter the spirit realm. I can sleep in a coffin for THREE DAYS…”

This idea of spirits leaving bodies and its carnal ordinances and then looking back on the sedentary bodies having been deserted, from a distance, represents a plagiarized reenactment of certain scenes and if we could make another conjecture, a rhetorically orchestrated or staged versions of the film, “Ghost,” featuring Whoopi Goldberg, the late Patrick Swayze, Demi More, and others.

Evidently Bishop Obinim was not talking about Angel, a relatively commercially successful British singer-songwriter.

But that aside, why THREE DAYS?

We know from the Bible that Jonah spent three days and three nights in the belly of a whale (a huge or great fish). Jesus, the Synoptic books of the Bible also tell that us he spent three days and three nights “in the heart of the earth,” obviously a figurative throwback to the Jonah story. But as expected not everyone believes or accepts this “three days and three nights” story as it specifically relates to the “exact” number of days (3 days or 72 hours) spanning Jesus’ death and resurrection.

South Africa’s Ahmed Deedat, late, a comparative religion expert disagreed, and rightly so, vehemently! Readers may want to consult his books “What Was the Sign of Jonah?” and “Was Jesus Crucified?” and “”Resuscitation or Resurrection?” for further information.

Against this background, it may appear then that Bishop Obinim’s “coffin” could be a tactical and convenient figurative appropriation of “the belly of the great or huge fish” (Old Testament) and “the heart of the earth” (New Testament).

What is more, many Christians however believe the story of Jesus’ spending three days and three nights “in the heart of the earth” was and still is literally, if not inferentially, culled from the Jonah story, with background claims of narrative Torah originality. In this context Bishop Obinim has also literally, if not inferentially, “stolen” this story to feed his self-aggrandizing ego—self-gratification.

This hypothesis is similar to the central arguments George James advanced in the book “Stolen Legacy.” Yet the story does not simply end there. Bishop Obinim calls Jesus “father Jesus” while Jesus, himself, in turn, called God “father,” yet this same Jesus is supposed to be God, part of the Trinity concept not so unfamiliar to Ancient Egyptian cosmogony in the direct sense of the Osiris-Isis-Horus Trinity, the basis of the so-called Osiris Myth. Of course, these hard questions are central to the exegetical formulations of Christian eschatology and divine mercy, so to speak.

These are all beyond the point, however. So, who then is the real “father” here and who then is the real surrogate “father” there, if the crude theology of Bishop Obinim’s makes any sense?

THE CRUDE POLITICAL THEOLOGY OF DR. AMOAKO BAAH

And here is what Mr. Baah’s reported response when a journalist asked him if he was a member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), after having, perhaps for the first time in public, told his listeners he had written the 2012 educational policy for the National Democratic Congress (NDC):

“No, I am not a member, contrary to what some people want to say, but there’s nothing wrong with being a member. I may become a member, but right now I’m not a member…”

Mr. Baah should make the content of this purported educational policy public, with an easily verifiable forensic proof of the said policy’s authorship, or better still, he should stop dabbling in his partisan-trademark of convenient circumlocution. He should also let us know which educational policy he sold to Akufo-Addo during the same period.

After all, we all should be interested in national policies, not self-serving partisan ideas that serve parochial interests, to the detriment of national development and social solidarity. One has every right to question a die-hard and uncompressing capitalist democratic selling an idea to a social democratic political party. The entire deal, if true as he claims, is suspect from the word go!

This was a man, who woke up one hot dawn drenched in a river of sweat, and in a fit of noctambulism, proclaimed to the world that the sitting party, a self-described social democratic institution, had chosen him to serve as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for Kumasi Polytechnic. This snake oil disappeared into thin air as soon as it became public knowledge.

Perhaps he made this delirious claim while listening and dancing to the song “Sleepwalking,” a hit single released by “Bring Me The Horizon,” a British rock band. In fact, Mr. Baah was out of his horizon that hot dawn, also listening and dancing to Geto Boy’s rap track “Mind Playing Tricks On Me.”

Elsewhere, this shameless man also had the audacity to propose Gabby Otchere, a relative of Akufo-Addo’s, as Attorney-General in the event the NPP wins power. How can Akufo-Addo make the pimp-looking Gabby Otchere Attorney-General? Are there no more qualified jurists in the country? And outside of it? Who in his right mind will want to have another Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong or Betty Mould-Iddrisu as Attorney-General? Oh Ghana! Have we not had enough already as a people?

Granted that Akufo-Addo performed badly as Attorney-General, how can such a person elect or propose another fellow for that office? We should not forget Akufo-Addo, for instance, filing a high-profile case at the Supreme Court where he titled his brief “the President Versus Tsatsu Tsikata” rather than “the Republic Versus Tsatsu Tsikata,” a gross official mishap that brought shame to his office and to the NPP and to the party’s leadership led by John Kufour?

As a matter of fact, there is a nagging sense of suspicion, of course running rumors or allegations, among some high-placed Ghanaian elites that certain law and jurisprudence professors and lecturers stationed at the University of Ghana authored some of Akufo-Addo’s high-profile legal briefs when he served the country as Attorney-General. Apparently, legend has it that some influential persons in the party’s hierarchy, including ex-President Kufuor, were not happy with Akufo-Addo’s performance as Attorney-General, hence his insidious “secondment” to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Yet, that said, Mr. Baah does not know he may be endorsing ethnocracy and nepotism! It just usually starts with one family and then…Akufo-Addo mentioned in his eulogy to J.B. Danquah that he intended making him a member of his government in the event the NPP won power.

THE TWO BACKYARDIGANS AS THE COUNTRY’S TWO COMICAL MUSKETEERS

It has been reported recently that Mr. Baah is asking Asiedu Nketia to retract a comment he made to the public to the effect that he, that is, Mr. Baah’s “Ph.D. is fake.”

These are the latter’s words attributed to him by some web portals:

“And Asiedu Nketia says I have a credibility problem, that my Ph.D. is fake…”

Evidently then, and perhaps more pointedly even, Mr. Baah has serious credibility problems, but whether his Ph.D. is fake or not, he has to do more to convince the likes of Asiedu Nketia that he is, indeed, not a village idiot, by, among other things, providing the evidence he claims to have for his widely publicized allegation that, it is only Northerners who occupy key positions in the present government.

The other task is for him to bring to bear some methodological finality to and clarifications on the question of whether it is predominantly Northerners or predominantly Northerners and Ewes who occupy key positions in the Mahama government. Today, it is Northerners who occupy key positions in the Mahama government and the next day it is Northerners and Ewes. It is however possible that bad reportage may be the cause of these apparent inconsistencies. Otherwise, we may have to advance the speculation that his seeming inconsistencies and equivocations are not helping his case and that of society’s view of him in the court of public opinion. This is obvious.

On the other hand, we shall not waste our time on Rev. Owusu Bempah’s allegations that Bishop Obinim received his powers from Okomfo Yaw Appiah. Neither are we going to delve into the recent comical exhibitionism between Bishop Obinim and the no-show grotesque caricature, Okomfo Yaw Appiah. These are questions meant for psychiatrists, psychologists, alienists, and inmates of insane asylums. In fact, the likes of Mr. Baah and Bishop Obinim (and his “coffin”) are those Bob Marley may have aptly called “Mr. Brown,” a titular track:

“Oh, Oh, Oh: Its Mr. Brown, Mr. Brown is a clown who rides to town in a coffin.”

CONCLUSION

Mr. Baah said of Kwame Dzokoto, a potential parliamentary candidate:

“I mean look, once you are a comedian, always a comedian…”

The afore-referenced quote equally describes Mr. Baah, no doubt. That notwithstanding, Kwame Dzokoto, professional comedian, fired back at Mr. Baah with equal measure and dignified demeanor:

“I am very disappointed in what the Dr. said because he is a scientist and is expected to speak based on a research report. You should speak with a lot of facts…So I was surprised for such comments because he is grown, he is a lecturer and a scientist…Some prominent people should advise him on what to say!”

What scientist? Social scientist perhaps! All the same, contrary to what others might think of him, Mr. Baah is not a scientist but rather a professional political comic. The man simply does not make practical sense in his public utterances and submissions. Unfortunately, Dzokoto will not get what he wants.

Then also, like Dzokoto, the “some prominent people” he referred to whom Mr. Baah has surrounded himself with are comedians.

No wonder Clement Apaak, author of “Massive Corruption Made Ex-President Kufuor Unfit For Mo Ibrahim Award,” had this simple statement of indictment for him:

“Alert: Dr. Amoako Baah is a disgrace to academia and a shameless ethnic supremacist.”

In fine, Mr. Baah is also more confused than the Electoral Commission’s Chairlady Charlotte Elizabeth Osei, whom he recently described as “confused,” a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

REFERENCES

Ghanaweb. “The Only Thing I fear Is English Language—Obinim.” April 13, 2016.

Ghanaweb. “Prof. Amoako Baah’s Teaching is Almost Useless.” Three Parts.

Ghanaweb. “I Wanted to ‘Kill’ Komfo Appiah for Insulting Jesus—Obinim.” April 13, 2016.

Ghanaweb. “I Can Sleep in a Coffin for 3 Days—Obinim.” April 13, 2016.

Ghanaweb. “60% Gov’t Posts Filled By Northerners; That’s Bad—Baah.” April 11, 2016.

Ghanaweb. “I Wrote Education Policy for NDC—Amoako Baah.” April 12, 2016.

Tico. “Dr. Amoako Baah’s Comment is An Insult to My Personality and Profession—Kwame Dzokoto.” December 2, 2015.

Ghanaweb. “Amoako Baah Is ‘A Disgrace to Academia—Apaak.”

Ghanaweb. “Baah Threatens to Sue Mosquito Over Ph.D. Slur.” April 14, 2016.

Ghanaweb. “EC Divided; Charlotte Osei Confused—Dr. Baah.” April 10, 2016.
Columnist: Kwarteng, Francis