30.04.2020 Feature Article

Basking In God’s Glory

Basking In God’s Glory
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“It takes many good deeds to build a reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” - Benjamin Franklin 6th U.S. President

SOME OF US ARE QUITE PRAYERFUL, and we have great respect for people who go by the name and title “Reverend”, “Father”, “Pastor”, “Evangelist”, “Bishop”, “Pope”; “Mallam”, “Alhaji”, et cetera – that is, anyone who goes by the title “Man of God”. To the extent that some of us were enthused when a day was declared for prayer to get rid of the pandemic now hovering above our heads. Some of us are also so politically mature (NOT matured) and respectful that we shudder to spite anyone who goes by title “honourable”.

Covid-19 had captured our attention so much that some of us could hardly do anything apart from listening to BBC, CNN, local radio, France 24, Radio France International, plus all the local TVs and radios, especially during the lockdown. So you will hear the French calling coronavirus “coronavirus” (corona-veeroos), instead of the usual French transposition of English words “virus-corona”. Then you will hear everybody talking about having people suspected to have arrived from the U.S.A., the United Kingdom, France, Spain or Italy quarantined (kwaranteened) for 14 days. So, you ask yourself how come Ghanaians pronounce the word (kwarantained; “tained” like “fined”). Then you will ask yourself why a “whole” President (Trump) of the “whole” great America will dream of advising his countrymen and women to drink “Dettol”, “DDT”, “pesticides”, “weedicides”, “penicillin” to fight coronavirus! Perhaps, the admonition is for us to chase the virus wherever it goes, including our tummies!

And during the lockdown, there would be time on your hand to read everything, yes, everything. But curse your stars when you do not get the daily newspapers to read. Your eyes will flash on a headline, “Obinim is an occultist”, Eish! You ask, “Who is accusing God's 'angel' in such a reckless manner?” Then you read, “An outspoken politician, Kennedy Agyapong who is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central, has taken his war against controversial pastor, Prophet Daniel Obinim to another level by saying the leader of the International God's Way Church is an occultist.”

You are forced to swallow your words, but, again, forced to ask: “Why has Obinim and people around him provoked the petulant and irascible Kennedy Agyapong? Then you remember the story of the farmer who picked a singing tortoise from the forest and caused the chief of his village to summon the villagers to listen to the singing tortoise. The wager was that if the tortoise would not sing, the farmer would suffer death. On the D-Day (NOT the Battle of Normandy), the tortoise would not sing. It was after the farmer had been executed that the tortoise started: “Asem mpe nipa, nipa na ope asem…” (lit. Trouble does not look for man; it is man who seeks trouble). Obinim is alleged to have said he can take care of Kennedy, provide him with funds, and that if Kennedy dared him, he would use his “macho-men” to discipline him. You can choose to call Kennedy a braggart who relishes braggadocio but you cannot take it from him that he is as resolute and fearless as he is intrepid and audacious.

But we thought Obinim had made peace with Kennedy Agyapong. Obinim had asked bloggers and Facebook writers of his church to cease writing scurrilous matters about Kennedy “immediately effect” (with immediate effect). But, no, Kennedy would not be appeased: “It won't work”, says he, especially when people like Appiah Stadium had threatened to curse him by the river deity, Antoa, if Kennedy should apply the brakes. Appiah Stadium is enthused about the revelation of Obinim having taken one Adwoa's gold and keeping it for five years: “Metu kye ma wo…”, so says Appiah Stadium.

Among the allegation against Obinim are: he uses human parts for sacrifices; he lures (seduces) pretty girls who attend his church; A mallam at Akyem Tafo provides him with human skulls to prepare 'Crowd Puller', soap, Obinim engages in money laundering, uses people like Isaac Opoku and other church members to transfer moneys into his accounts in Spain through one Esther of Fidelity Bank; Obinim uses sperms wiped after sex with women for his occult practices. Honourable Kennedy Agyapong appears to have captured Obinim in a video in which he (Obinim) states that human eyes, human fingers, fresh babies and pregnant women could be effectively used as sacrifices to enable someone to become very rich, alleging that “you will bury the pregnant woman alive and the money will start flowing. You will see a lot of money in your washroom without working for it.”

A lot of these video shots from Net2 TV have gone viral. Obinim is said to have hypnotised the members of his church and claims great spirituality when one goes to bed with his biological sister, or practises homosexuality. The honourable Kennedy Agyapong is alleged by Daily Guide to have yelled “unprintable words at Obinim for being evil”, and also that Obinim's “time is up”. He further claims to report Obinim's character to the police and EOCO, and insists on having Obinim jailed, “Obinim will go to jail… Obinim will go mad… Obinim's church will collapse… Obinim dare not open his church…”

One is enjoined to be very circumspect before commenting on the unfolding drama. The allegations against Obinim appear overwhelming, and the evidence “on the face of the docket” so palpable, but one should be careful not to fall flat of the law on libel and defamation. With the repeal of the criminal Libel Law (2001), now libel cases fall under civil torts, and the penalties are atrocious. The police and EOCO are there to take up the criminal aspects of cases like the ones alleged by Honourable Kennedy Agyapong against Obinim. Obinim, sorry, Angel Obinim, will certainly have his defences, and no one can trample upon his human rights. Of course, it is everybody else's duty to expose fraudsters and tricksters who walk about in the name of God to do all kinds of evil things. Who is next after Obinim? Some people are pointing fingers at Badu Kobi, Agradaa…

Marcus Antonius in William Shakespeare's 'Julius Caesar' in a speech after the murder of Julius Caesar said, “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him. The evil that men do lives after them. The good is oft interred with their bones; so let it be with Caesar…” Your good deeds will be buried with you when you die, while the bad ones, even if they are few will linger on long after your repose.

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From Africanus Owusu-Ansah

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