By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Friday, August 15, 2014
Folks, there is too much going on as far as abject criticism of the leadership style of President Mahama is concerned. No day passes by without someone coming out to lambast him as weak, incompetent, or unfocused. Others even go the extra mile to accuse him of being irredeemably corrupt and inept, which is why the country is teetering and tottering.
The critics are all over the place either coming across as politicians or the clergy, particularly. Our chiefs have been cunning enough to veil their criticism so they don’t incur the anger of their subjects supporting President Mahama to the hilt. For the politicians opposed to the NDC administration and their backers in the clergy, it is an open display of disdain.
Why are these “Men-of-God” good at only criticizing and not putting themselves forward to be elected to rule Ghana? Don’t tell me that they already have their profession. Otherwise, why are the lawyers, medical doctors, etc. abandoning their chosen careers to do active partisan politics? If these “Men-of-God” think that they can be better leaders, what is preventing them from becoming our leaders instead of roaming the political landscape and making ugly noises of condemnation? They claim to know it all and should help us know it too. They annoy me to the hilt! With their empty “talk-talk”!
I want to raise what is coming from the clergy for special comment. We know what has come from these “Men-of-God”, especially those who have come to notice as either prophesying doom or taking on President Mahama and his government as they would a raging bull. Constructing themselves as matadors, they think that they have the divine responsibility to cripple the government.
Of course, their perspective isn’t without precedent. We know what the Biblical accounts give us about the wordy warfare that the prophets fought with the leaders of their time and how it all ended. We can recall the stentorian admonitions of the major and minor prophets, especially the Elijahs, Elishas, Jeremiahs, Isaiahs, and many more. Even, Jonah and his Nineveh encounter come to mind. We won’t forget the experiences of Daniel, Shadrack, Meshach, and Abednego. Nor will we easily sidestep the fate of Nebuchadnezzar. Many others can be cited.
Roll everything forward to the New Testament period and you should see why Jesus Christ’s ministry really irked the Establishment to warrant the conspiracy against him by those political and religious figures who saw him as their worst threat on earth. They needn’t hear anything predicting their doom and sought ways to trap Jesus, laying the charge of destabilization of the political authority of Rome against him. The Sanhedrin did its best to send him to the slaughter house, even as Pontius Pilate claimed not to have found any fault with him. Can we gloss over Pilate’s inquisitorial question bordering on the political? “Are you the King of the Jews”, whereupon Jesus threw everything back to him: “You are saying so”?
When the Catholic Church took it upon itself to confront King Charles of England about his decision to divorce his wife and marry the woman after his heart, it led to a major occurrence in the history of Christendom. King Charles boldly threw off that challenge, telling the Catholic Church leaders that he was the King of England and would have none of their impudence. There and then, the Anglican Church emerged to prove to the Catholic Church that there was a limit to which it could carry its politically motivated mischief.
No matter what the so-called Messengers of God did to establish reference points for those aping them today, we know that none has fared better when put in charge of the governing of a country. History has examples for us to see what happened under their rule; and I won’t get to the nitty-gritty, knowing very well that one can easily identify which instance should be raised for comment. Examples exist all over the world.
Folks, it is doubtless that those claiming to be doing the work of God have arrogated to themselves the power to challenge goings-on. The Apostles did so and suffered the harsh consequences, some of them being stoned to death and others hanged head down. In our time too, the clergy have constituted a potent force to lock horns with the government that they don’t see anything good about.
Too many of them are out and about, pursuing the agenda carved for them by either their calling or faceless political influences that they prosecute to create the impression that under President Mahama, Ghana has no future. I needn’t bore anybody with a list of such “Men-of-God”, but suffice it for me to raise that of Mensa Otabil, someone not new to us when it comes to politically motivated ministration.
He is in the news again, this time, scaring us that Ghana is doomed under President Mahama. The headline given the news report on this claim says it more loudly: “Our ship is sinking; A new leadership response to crisis is needed—Otabil”. (See: http://www.myjoyonline.com/news/2014/August-14th/our-ship-is-sinking-a-new-leadership-response-to-crisis-is-needed-otabil.php).
I reproduce below salient aspects of the detailed report that Myjoyonline published on his utterances.
“Head Pastor of the International Central Gospel Church Dr. Mensa Otabil has called for a new leadership response to crisis situation in Ghana. In a short but thought provoking message at the festival of ideas 2014, Dr. Otabil said there is the need for a decisive leadership response, one that follows the rules and seizes the urgency of the moment to save a sinking situation.
He was convinced Ghana's boat was sinking and needed measures that were "intentional, decisive and methodical" in saving the sinking boat from choppy waters. He said Ghana is heading towards a crisis situation, and even if the use of the word crisis was subjective, the general view is that "all is not well."
Comparing the Cedi to the first rickety car he bought, Dr. Otabil said the "Cedi has a mind of its own" and chooses to behave the way it likes. He said given the historical analysis of Ghana it "appears we are on a permanent trajectory of deterioration."
"I find it difficult to see how things will get back to normal," he hinted and charged all to "always prepare for the worst… Instead of hoping everything will be alright it is time to face reality things will get worse," he warned but said there was the need for the leadership traits of the captain of Carpethia to be shown in this trying times.
"We cannot afford to be perplexed and so overwhelmed by what we see that we end up frozen into inaction," he said, adding "we may not be able to save everything but we will save something."
So much arid and unproductive “talk-talk”. Where is the leader that Otabil is calling for? In the clergy or the political parties? Why aren’t the clergy themselves stepping forward to be counted if they think that they can provide a better leadership to keep Ghana afloat?
Otabil’s comparison of the situation in Ghana to the experiences of the tragic Titanic episode says it all. From his utterance, I can tell that Otabil has a lot up his sleeves. But I don’t see anything concrete coming from him in terms of suggestions to solve the problems that he glibly spoke about. It is not unusual for such characters to play the parrot, quoting sources and repeating known theories and postulations without ever being original in coming out with anything to change the paradigm. Listening to them gush out Biblical quotations and creating the impression that they are authorities on the Bible or other religious literature makes me wonder whether they really are problem-solvers themselves.
If they were problem solvers, why won’t they put themselves forward to lead the country so we can see what they are worth as capable leaders? I am completely fed up with all this “talk-talk” and want to challenge these so-called “Men-of-God” to give us a break. If they think they can do better, why not boldly establish themselves as candidates to contest the general elections? Ghanaians will be better served if they can put their “talk-talk” behind them and enter a different mode to provide the leadership that they think Ghana currently lacks. Too much of their irritating “talk-talk”!!
I shall return…
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