I have quite a lot of respect for our proverbial men, and women, of the cloth. And this is very much in order, because I was, myself, raised by a respectable man of the cloth. And even three decades after his glorious transitioning into eternity, the spirit of the Rev. T. H. Sintim continues to occupy a signigicant place and space in my life. Still, I am very much disturbed when politicians and Gospel preachers and prophets mischievously collaborate cynically to steer the affairs of the land. Cynically, because however long President John Dramani Mahama may be expected to live, according to the curious prophecy of the Rev. Isaac Owusu-Bempah, has absolutely no material releance for the forward-looking Ghanaian citizen whatsoever (See “Mahama Has 15 More Years to Die – Rev. Owusu-Bempah” Independent Newspaper/Ghanaweb.com 7/30/13).
What matters more than all else is the administrative performance of Mr. Mahama as President of the Democratic Republic of Ghana. And so far, not many well-meaning Ghanaians have enough that is praise-worthy to remark about the man. Besides, however long Mr. Mahama lives is squarely a private and personal matter between the man who claims to have been sworn in as President by God Her-/Himself, rather than Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, the Electoral Commissioner, and Divine Providence.
You see, my particular problem here is that all these pontifical prophets were virtually AWOL during most of the two decades that Mr. Jeremiah John Rawlings plunged the country into total economic and cultural chaos. And if prophecies were that easy to reverse, as Rev. Owusu-Bempah is widely reported to be claiming, then why didn’t these venerable men of the cloth fast and pray to opportunely reverse the wanton brutality visited on their fellow countrymen and women by Mr. Rawlings and his associates?
I also don’t doubt the Head Pastor of the Glorious Power Ministries International’s “revelation” that at least three different delegations from the presidency approached him in March and pleaded with Rev. Owusu-Bempah “to reverse the sudden death prophecy of the President.” I don’t doubt the revelation by the pastor because to date, Mr. Mahama has not been able to duly inform the people whom he claims to have elected him, precisely what caused the death of his former boss and predecessor. And so one can aptly fathom the sort of anxiety afflicting the man.
Then again, what am I really talking about here? Hasn’t the man publicly stated time without number, in recent weeks, that his is a divinely ordained presidency? If so, then why would he bother to send waves of delegations to Minister Owusu-Bempah to seek a reversal of his apparently divinely ordained fate of sudden death? Or are we being given to understand that God is, somehow, so fickle as to whimsically make a decision in one breath and then reverse the same within the next breath?
And just why would Rev. Owusu-Bempah feel compelled to announce to the public an apparently purely private liaison or “spiritual” interchange that occurred between him and President Mahama? Was such revelation also instigated by God? And if so, to what purpose and end? You see, what we learn from the foregoing is the fact that like many a Third-World country, Ghanaian politics continues to be unsavorily dominated by the cult of personality.
Needless to say, for the country to progressively forge ahead into an industrial and post-industrial civilization, Ghana and Ghanaians need to rapidly move in the salutary direction of institutional development, as intimated by President Barack H. Obama in 2009, and rapidly away from the sort of personality politics that characterized most of the 1950s and ’60s.
*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York
E-mail: [email protected]