If they had been paying studious attention to the global media, the members of the Ghana Charismatic Bishops’ Conference would not have issued the kind of inexcusably scandalous statement that they released to the press, in which these funny-money equivalents of the clerical bishopric vacuously and virulently accused the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, of having taken the all-too-savvy health-protective decision of having all institutions with crowd-focused activities indefinitely shuttered or closed down (See “Akufo-Addo Banning Religious Activities without Consultation Wrong – Charismatic Bishops’ Conference” News Desk – Modernghana.com 3/17/20). But, of course, there is an ironic twist to such plaint; and it is the fact that since the close of last year, these one-man church leaders have been “prophesying” what they termed as divinely inspired and retailed messages to their captive congregations and the rest of the country.
Oftentimes, such “prophecies” have been predominantly politically oriented and largely about which political party was poised to notching a landslide victory in the upcoming 2020 general election, or which Presidential Candidate was bound to carry the vote. When they are not focused on the foregoing, largely, payola-motivated political prophecies, many of these one-man church “bishops” and “archbishops” – I have yet to see or hear of any “cardinals” and “popes” among their fold – are seen and heard predicting the imminent deaths of one prominent religious leader or another. Oftentimes, such predictions are both cross-denominational and cross-religion. A striking case in point was that of the Rev. Isaac Owusu-Bempah, the founding-leader of the so-called Glorious Power Ministry International Church, who courted the widespread displeasure and fury of Ghana’s Muslim Community, shortly after he predicted the imminent death of the National Imam, Sheikh Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu, who had turned exactly 100 years old on April 23, 2019.
The one striking feature about the sort of prophecy that got Pastor Owusu-Bempah in trouble is the kind of prophecy that only requires close observation and common sense, primarily based on a knowledge of Ghana’s level or rate of life expectancy. You see, the average Ghanaian lifespan hovers in the vicinity of 60 years old, maybe a little higher, now that the economy has begun to register a significant level of improvement in the quality of life of the proverbial average Ghanaian. In other words, one does not need any special or supernatural powers to readily guess at the fact that most centenarians the world over do not inch past the 100 to 105-year mark. What I am obviously trying to imply here is that if these one-man church proprietors were really worth their designation in salt or substance, as it were, they would have long before the Government’s ban or suspension of crowd-drawing activities in the country, in the wake of the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, seen and read the proverbial or biblical handwriting on the wall and promptly and foresightedly and patriotically and wisely advised our politicians to be forearmed against the same.
Now, blaming the Akufo-Addo Administration of the New Patriotic Party for not consulting with the leaders of these shamelessly parasitic one-man proprietary churches before opportunely imposing the temporary health-protective ban on the country makes the complainants sound like the veritable charlatans that many a critically thinking Ghanaian has always suspected them to be. I am, however, not certain what these human saprophytes of Apostles and Bishops and Archbishops mean when they pontifically assert the following in animadversion or censure of Nana Akufo-Addo: “This disregard of the place of this powerful social and religious institution, to which over 70% of Ghanaians belong, is wrong.” The stark and practical fact of the matter is that 70% of Ghanaian citizens do not belong to the so-called charismatic churches. The leaders of these one-man proprietary churches are shameless socioeconomic and political parasites because until very recently, none of them did anything materially substantive or significant to enhance the quality of the life of the average Ghanaian citizen and youth, such as the establishment of schools and hospitals.
So far, the leaders of the Christian religious mainstream of Ghana, the so-called mainline churches, especially the members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Ghana, have issued statements staunchly backing protective measures being taken by the Akufo-Addo Administration to stem the ravaging tide of the Coronavirus in Ghanaian society. But, guess what? It well appears that Divine Providence “in his inscrutable wisdom,” my profound apologies to another prominent political charlatan who shall not be named, because Ghanaians have been publicly told that Nana Akufo-Addo does not feel comfortable in his presence, most obviously because he may very well have orchestrated the brutal bedroom-stabbing assassination of Mr. Joseph Boakye Danquah-Adu, grandson of the legendary Doyen of Gold Coast and Ghanaian Politics and an Akufo-Addo cousin, does not seem to have found it to be expedient or intelligent to have consulted the leaders of the charismatic churches, so-called, before letting lose the veritable satanic force of the Coronavirus pandemic on Earth.
So, why do these same so-called charismatic leaders expect President Akufo-Addo to have consulted with them, beforehand, prior to the declaration of his most opportune and auspicious edict suspending all crowd-centered activities in the country? If this is not “charismatic lunacy” and idiocy rolled into one smorgasbord of stupidity, one sincerely does not know what else to make the same.
*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
March 17, 2020
E-mail: [email protected]