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General News of Thursday, 3 March 2016

Source: Class FM

Stop attacking Otabil - Korankye Ankrah

Dr Mensa Otabil talks about good things worth listening to, Rev Sam Korankye Ankrah has said, and urged Ghanaians to buy into his fellow preacher's ideas and teachings rather than foist political colours on him every time he speaks.

According to the Royal House Chapel International founder, politicising and pigeon-holing the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC) founder and his comments must stop.

"Dr Mensa Otabil says some good things, which everybody must buy on board, and then the following day he is categorised and caged into one [corner]. It's dangerous, and it's unhealthy and it must stop…," Rev Korankye Ankrah told Bola Ray on Starr Chat Wednesday March 2 while answering a question about what he made of political categorisation of preachers in Ghana.

Rev Korankye Ankrah's comments come on the heels of a recent avalanche of flak unleashed on Dr Otabil by some supporters and communicators of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), after he urged Ghanaians to save the nation from incompetence.

Speaking at the launch of a book titled 'Dare to Dream' on Albert and Comfort Ocran's Springboard roadshow two weeks ago, the motivational speaker and General Overseer of the ICGC called for a citizens' "revolution" to snatch the country from the state, which he said had "hijacked" and "monopolised" everything.

"We have to battle, we have to fight, we have to wrest the destiny of our nation from incompetence and from people who have determined to run us to the ground.

"We have to wrest the nation back and control it as citizens of this country and that is the challenge I want to put to you. You have to dare to dream to take our nation back," Dr Otabil said.

He, however, pointed out that he was not calling for a revolution in the "political sense".

"I'm not saying take it back from one party to give it to another party; I'm saying the citizens must take their country back and run their own country, and if Springboard succeeds in doing that, I think it would have done a very great service to our country. And if you and I succeed in doing that we would have done a great service to our country, so, I hope that tonight, as we launch this magazine, we will not leave here with a sense of accomplishment, but we'll be fired to …go out there and make a difference and the difference is not just for you to prosper, but for you to take back your nation," Dr Otabil said.

He also said: "We can't just be happy because a road has been tarred. We can't just be happy because we didn't have electricity and now we have electricity. We can't be happy with minimals, we want maximums, we want the best, not the least. And so citizens must have an appetite for better because what happens is that when you get pushed down, you settle for being pushed down…You and I must bounce back."

At the grand finale of the same event the following week, Dr Otabil said local businesses were being killed through high taxes.

"For a nation to be great, its laws have to facilitate growth. You cannot overtax businesses and kill them and hope them to survive at the same time; it doesn't work that way," he said, adding: "If we want businesses to survive and to thrive, we have to create an environment for businesses to thrive," he said.

In his view, some of the most successful entrepreneurs and businesspeople in the world would have found it difficult to achieve the laurels they are currently famed for, had they found themselves in a stifling and "poisonous" atmosphere like Ghana's.

Following Dr Otabil's comment, NDC Communicator Solomon Nkansah described the preacher as a "national security threat".

The 'Apostle-General', as Rev Sam Korankye Ankrah is known, told Bola Ray the media were to blame for the politicisation of preachers.

"Our colleagues have cried about it. Dr Agyinasare has cried recently and he said the journalists must stop.

"I think that the problem has been with you our sons – the journalists. Our nation is so polarised that the media is polarised as well: this is for party A, that is for party B, and, so, everybody is writing something to create sensationalism …depending upon where you belong.

"…I think that you journalists must help us…you have work to do in that area. Your reportage must be fair and balanced and don't [create] the impression that this preacher speaks for this political party, he's a friend to this person, it's not very helpful," Rev Korankye Ankrah said.

Pressed by Bola Ray if he thought preachers should come clean on where they stood politically, Rev Korankye Ankrah said although that practice is not strange in the western part of the world, "our culture and our traditions will not permit us [to do so]. …It is not wise and prudent for us to do so because I am pastoring a mixed multitude – a congregation of NDC, NPP [members]…Ashantis, Ewes, Gas – all mixed, so, you need to be very careful if, as a leader, you would come to make such utterances, such statements. I think I will advise against it."