A professor at the Trinity Theological Seminary (Legon) and senior Minister of the Methodist Church, Ghana, Very Rev. Professor J. Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu has condemned attacks on the Founder and General Overseer of the International Central Gospel Church, Pastor Mensa Otabil.
Describing the insults and negative responses to Pastor Mensa Otabil’s recent message as “shocking,” Very Rev. Professor Asamoah-Gyadu says, “It troubles me that people in responsible political positions are not being objective even in their responses to issues that affect all of us.”
Last week, Pastor Mensa Otabil launched a book in Accra and challenged young people in Ghana to take their destiny into their own hands and change the fortunes of the nation. He further asked Ghanaians not to be satisfied with the basic human needs. “We can’t just be happy because a road has been tarred. We can’t just be happy that we didn’t have electricity now we have electricity. We can’t be happy with minimals”, he said at a Springboard event.
Pastor Otabil said government was in charge of and controlling almost everything in the country and that nothing seemed to be working well. He advised the youth to venture into businesses and take the running of nation from the incompetent hands of government.
He cautioned against reading political meanings into his statement. “I am not saying that in a political sense. I am not saying take back from one party and give it to another party”.
The above explanation not withstanding, some ministers of state, government communicators and executives of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) have descended heavily on Pastor Mensa Otabil, accusing him of political bias against the ruling party.
The Communications Director of the NDC, Solomon Nkansah, last Thursday said on Accra-based Kasapa FM that Pastor Mensah Otabil was a sympathizer of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) and a national security threat.
“These are the men who are a threat to national security and co-existence. Because you don’t support the NDC government, you are inciting the public against the government. During the NPP regime, he didn’t preach this way. He rather preached with the Ghana flag. Why is he preaching this way now? The last time it was generational thinkers, today it’s about revolt against minority rule. We cannot continue to countenance such worrying conducts of this Pastor.”
Some ministers of state and other functionaries of government and ruling party have also taken Pastor Mensa Otabil to the cleaners on various media platforms.
However, a Baeta-Grau Professor of African Christianity and Pentecostal Theology and Director for the Study of Christianity in Africa at the Trinity Theological Seminary, Very Rev. Professor Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu, considers the negative responses uncalled for. On Saturday, he took to his Facebook page and condemned such attacks. Below is his full post in defence of Pastor Mensa Otabil:
“I have not been here in along while but I wish I can do so more often. There is a lot on my mind. I have been reflecting on the sort of negative responses that Pastor Mensa Otabil has attracted with his exhortations to Ghanaian young people to take their destiny into their own hands and move our country forward. The prophets of the Old Testament were harder on the political establishment of those days. We praise them for being forthright with the kings but somehow, we refuse to see the prophetic side of some of the exhortations from critical Christian minds. It troubles me that people in responsible political positions are not being objective even in their responses to issues that affect all of us. I am writing from Rwanda and I feel we need to be concerned about the pace of development Ghana claims to have made as compared to one just coming out of a devastating genocide that none thought they would recover from! The most shocking aspect though is how we can turn so much heat on Otabil at a time that so many people have just lost their lives in a bus accident that should not have happened in the first place! Our country needs some real introspection. When a prophet rises up to make positive declarations on the government during crossover services, he is embraced with both arms. We forget that prophets who declared “peace peace” when the nation was heading towards doom were generally in the biblical material classified as false prophets! We have just too many around!”