General News of Tuesday, 13 November 2012
The Director of Policy Monitoring and Evaluation at the Presidency Dr Tony Aidoo says the head pastor of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC) Pastor Mensa Otabil has no integrity and must begin to tell the truth.
The ICGC boss was outraged over a running political advert in which he was heard ridiculing the free education policy of the New Patriotic Party.
At a press conference, Monday, Otabil said the advert and two other audio tapes making rounds in the political circles were messages he had preached several years ago but “criminally” twisted for political gains.
The preacher was convinced the audio tapes were pieced together by surrogates of the ruling party and called the attention of the president to restrain them.
“My voice and sermons have been sampled, spliced and manipulated to appear to take a political position on a very heated political issue.
“…But for the mischief and persistence, I would have remained quiet over this matter. Let me state clearly that the sound bites that have been played with my voice have been taken totally out of context.
“This is defamatory. It is unethical. It is criminal. It is malicious. It is Machiavellian and it is evil,” the livid head pastor stated.”
“It is a violation of my person and my integrity,” Pastor Otabil charged.
But his comments have rather angered some officials of the ruling party with Dr Tony Aidoo telling Joy News’ Anny Osabutey that the man of God has no integrity to protect.
According to him, Pastor Otabil was highly inconsistent in his criticisms of the use of the audio tapes.
He argued once the ICGC General overseer has over the years carried himself as a man of wisdom he should not be angry when his own words are played back to him. He should rather have the courage to stand by his words.
“The press conference today shows an extreme case of behavioral inconsistency to be exhibited by a man who presents himself or rather misrepresents himself as a man of God, as somebody who has the knowledge and the vision and has been preaching over the years and more or less become an opinion leader for a large section of the population,” Dr Aidoo stated.
He would not take the explanation that the messages were made a long time ago in a different context.
“Jesus Christ spoke more than 2000 years ago. Are his words not the very words upon which Pastor Mensa Otabil is relying on,” Dr Aidoo stated.
“It is unfortunate that his so-called words of wisdom have been caught up in the debate and rightly so. Why should he blame anybody?
“Nobody asked him to come and present himself and his image to Ghanaians as a man of wisdom. If you have done that, you will have no private ownership of the things you have said," he added.
Asked if the NDC will stop playing the tapes Dr. Aidoo said: “I am not in charge of the NDC campaign, but if I was, I will play it day and night, 24 hours for Pastor Mensa Otabil to live with his conscience. He said we should have the courage to tell the truth. The test is on him. Let him tell the truth and stop running away.”
On the assertion that the tapes were twisted for political gains, the Head of Policy Monitoring and Evaluation at the Presidency was even more aggressive.
“Is he not using the words of Jesus Christ to make money, to build congregations, is he not?” he snapped.
He said he has no personal score to settle with the ICGC boss but added “I don’t think he has integrity.”