Wed, 17 Dec 2014 Feature Article

Mr Rawlings And Afia Schwarzenegger Vrs 'Bishop' Obinim

Mr Rawlings And Afia Schwarzenegger Vrs 'Bishop' Obinim

When Jerry John Rawlings was in office, he visited the Northern Region to interact with the people there.  He visited some villages and saw the type of water the people drank.  He saw goats, cattle and sheep drinking from one end of a pond while human beings drank from the other side.  He was so saddened that when he returned from the North he told Ghanaians that the water in his water closet toilet was cleaner than the water the people of the Northern Region drank.  Those of us who lived in that part of Ghana knew the man spoke the truth but sadly those who did not know the reality on the ground took the man to the cleaners.  They said Rawlings had insulted northerners with that comment.

When the PNDC took over power and asked all churches to register before operation, Christians in Ghana referred to Rawlings as anti-Christ.  Rawlings even banned the Jehovah Witnesses for refusing to pay allegiance to the state.  That earned him more insults.  The problem Rawlings had in those days was that he did not explain fully why he took those decisions.  The revolutionary in him charged him to act out of anger and compassion for the downtrodden.  When he saw evil camped anywhere in the horizon, he called that evil by its name no matter whose ox was gored. You see, no matter how you dislike the pig, you must give it credit for its prowess in lovemaking.  It was the same Rawlings who told these charlatans that if they said they could pray for the blind to see, they should go to Akuapem School for the Blind and pray for the students so that they could see.  The man is simply blunt.  When I watched the video in which Obinim was stumping on the belly of a pregnant woman during one of his church services, I regretted the day I was born in this country called Ghana.  And his followers were watching and clapping!

Rawlings has been watching television and listening to radio stations like all of us do.  He has been seeing what has been going on as far as preachers of the gospel are concerned.  We all agree that like the ISIL terrorists in Iraq and Syria, religious charlatans are gradually taking over our airwaves and polluting the minds of Ghanaians, but we sit and watch without saying anything.  If we make any comments at all, we do so in the confines of our homes, fearing that we may incur the displeasure of the Almighty God who admonished us not to touch his anointed ones.  Anyway, how can we distinguish between those who are anointed and those who are not anointed unless you listen to them?

They start their churches in classrooms with a few desperate women who are looking for husbands to marry, children to bear or whose marriages are about to hit the rocks.  To attract worshippers, they acquire a few musical instruments and get some boys to play music during church services.  In no time, they acquire titles like Reverend, Seer, Bishop, Prophet and later top it up with Dr.  Then the healing process starts.  They profess to be able to heal every disease—from HIV/AIDS, barrenness to Ebola.  As the number of church members grows day by day, they acquire a plot of land and construct some wooden structures as their churches.  As people flock to the church to seek for  one cure or the other, these criminals rope in some guys whose main duty is to interview those who visit the church to seek for help and later inform the 'man of God' in chambers.  That is when the duping starts.

As you appear before the 'man of God', he will tell you what brought you to the place to your surprise.  You are immediately hooked to his tricks.  Another trick is to hire people to come to the church with crutches, pretending they cannot walk.  The 'man of God' will lay his hands on such a person and ask him or her to stand up and walk and the guy will throw away the crutches and walk amidst clapping and singing of alleluia.  When the message goes out that the 'man of God' has healed a cripple, membership of the church will increase tenfold.  As for those who are seeking for visas to travel abroad, the church becomes an embassy.  Huge amounts of money are extorted from them with the promise that when they smear their faces with the anointed oil given to them by the 'man of God' and go for an interview at the embassy, they will easily get the visa.

One main source of income for these charlatans is the sale of 'anointing oil'.  They prepare some concoctions, bottle them and take them to their churches to sell to the unsuspecting church members as 'anointing oil' which is a panacea to almost every problem in their lives.  Women in particular fall head over heels to acquire the 'anointing oil'.  You look at the composition of the church members and you begin to wonder why almost all the church members are women, as if only women have problems in this world. No wonder 'Bishop' 'Dr' Obinim seduced the wife of one of his 'pastors'.

The time for counselling is the time for stealing because you meet the 'man of God' one on one. He can easily convince you to dole out a huge sum of money so that he will pray for you to drive away an impending calamity.  He will then warn you not to tell anybody what transpired between you and the 'man of God'.  The 'man of God' will tell you that either your mother or grandmother is a witch and that is why you are barren.  Such a church member will go home full of anger.  Any little encounter with the mother ignites an inferno.  If the church member  happens to be the one who takes care of the old lady financially, she stops taking care of the poor old lady simply because the 'man of God' has told her that her mother or grandmother is the one who has made her barren.  She might forget the number of times she embarked on illegal abortions which have eventually destroyed her womb, thereby rendering her barren.

Without mincing words, let me say that this particular 'man of God' and the others like him are all charlatans.  In fact, they are crooks who are out there to milk the members of their churches dry.  Apart from the fact that their standard of education is pretty low, they know little about the Bible.  Rawlings was right when he said Obinim and Kumchacha are capitalising on the ignorance of some Ghanaians to make money.  If there is something called Judgment Day, these so-called men of God will surely incur the wrath of God.  Many of such 'men of God' have come and gone, leaving behind a collapsed church and a scattered and disillusioned congregation.  Unlike Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammed who strutted this earth many years ago and left behind an ever-increasing following, these criminals leave behind nothing but regret.

When Afia Schwarzenegger and 'Bishop' Obinim went down the gutter in the wake of the Rawlings 'kanawu' sermon, I looked at the bleached face of the 'man of God' and bowed my head in shame.  In fact, I was not ashamed of myself but rather ashamed for the wife of the 'man of God', Madam Florence Obinim.  What did this woman see in the man before marrying him?  The facial bleaching? Money? Miracles?  Almost everybody in this country will agree with me that Madam Florence Obinim, the gospel singer, is a role model; but sadly her husband is a crook.  If Ghanaians begin to speak against such crooks the way Rawlings did, at least the number of charlatans will reduce drastically.

Has Obinim been listening to preachers like Pastor Mensah Otabil, Pastor Agyin Asare, Bishop Duncan Williams, etc.  These true men of God do not preach prosperity; neither do they heal people and demand monies from them.  They do not bleach their faces and they are not playboys. They have not been found fornicating and they don't insult people openly.  They have studied the Bible so well that their preaching goes down well with their listeners. The Lord has endowed them with wisdom and they impart the wisdom acquired to the less endowed ones in society.  Through their preaching, they sooth our souls and make us forget our sorrows. Some of them have built universities to serve mankind because they know knowledge is power.  In fact they follow the footsteps of Jesus Christ.

History will surely record the names of people like Obinim in brass.  Obinim and his other charlatans fall within the category of criminals whose names will be a curse to mention when they die.  For now, he is making money, building mansions, acquiring properties here and there and riding in luxurious cars.  He can afford to lure his junior pastor's wife and have sex with the lady because he is rich; but what this man must know is that when the pendulum starts to swing left, he will be the loser.  In fact, he already started losing when he attacked Afia Schwarzenegger.  Now that Obinim has touched a woman, he has struck a rock.  In fact, he has dislodged boulders and he will be crushed.

To honour the National Farmers' Day Celebration with the theme, 'Eat What You Grow And Grow What You Eat', I will abandon the smoking of foreign made cigars for now and rather go in for a made in Ghana cigar called 'Taa Bonto'.  (Ask your grandfather to describe Taa Bonto to you.)