General News of Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Source: Ali, Justice

Pastor Otabil Abuse Prez Mahama Unprovoked

The General Overseer of the International Central Gospel Church, Pastor Mensa Otabil, yesterday mounted what could best be likened to a spiraling and injurious verbal assault on the President of the Republic of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for no apparent provocation. The Reverend Minister described His Excellency John Mahama as a President that was condoning and coddling elements in the NDC, he referred to as “marauding and bullying force” bent on impugning his name and integrity without shame. In a supposed press conference to react to tapes released in which the revered preacher was heard making comments that criticize the political promises of the opposition New Patriotic Party and the abominable “all-die-be die comments by the NPP flag bearer, Dr. Otabil who did not deny the content of the tape, rudely took a swipe at the President and the NDC, describing them as evil. Without any empirical prove, the man of God emphatically affirmed that “the perpetrators of these blatant acts of impunity are largely affiliates and surrogates of the NDC.” “When political operatives sample, splice and edit a pastor’s words to mean something other than what was intended and then go ahead to lift those words from their proper context and place them within a partisan context, that is immoral; when political operatives highjack a pastor’s words, manipulate them to build partisan jingles and play them on party information vans across the country, that is mischief; when political operatives with sinister motives deliberately position a pastor to become a target for ridicule, animosity and hostile attack, that is evil,” he lamented. The renowned Preacher ignored answering questions from Journalist who asked for his current stands on free education, since the church had earlier issued a statement to say that the tape was a “collection of thoughts edited from a message shared by Pastor Otabil several years ago and pieced together to create the impression that he is taking a stand on the current political debate on the issue of education.” “No one, and I repeat, no one, has the right to force their thoughts into my words; I own my thought; I own my words and I own my beliefs,” he stated. A plethora of media reports over the past weeks, triggered by a tape recording this week suggested that the respected religious teacher is against the policy proposition which has become a major political issue. Delivering a sermon to his congregation, Pastor Otabil said people tend to be happy when they hear promises as this, simply because they “can't understand what is going on”.

“I’m sure when you hear all that you are happy, education can never be free, somebody is paying for it, tell me who is paying for it…..nothing is free. You are paying for it only that you are being told you didn’t pay for it. How do you pay for it, through taxation...So I may tax and you tell me you are giving me free education when it's my tax that is paying for it.”

"The other thing is, if somebody tells you something is free ask them what is the quality; anything free without control, when it is bad you can’t complain. If you don’t know the quality, don’t take it,” Pastor Otabil posited. In view of this, Pastor Otabil called on “all people of faith – Christians and Muslims, pastors and imams – to demand for righteousness, justice and fairness in our national discourse.”