General News of Monday, 19 November 2012

Source: The Enquirer Newspaper

Kofi Wayo hangs Otabil

Founder of the United Renaissance Party (URP), Chucks Kofi Wayo, has steamrolled the demand by the General Overseer of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC) that his sermon denouncing free education should be precluded from political discourse and allowed to remain his private opinion.

In an exclusive interview with The Enquirer over the weekend, Mr. Wayo said Pastor Mensa Otabil had shot himself in the foot with the controversial press conference he held to make the demanded because the preacher’s demand questioned the source of the “Living World” that he has been preaching from the pulpit.

“If he says that nobody has the right to use his words, are we now to understand that what he has been preaching to us from the pulpit all this while is his own word and not the Word of God?” Wayo asked rhetorically.

The URP founder, who is well known for straight-talking, then reasoned that if the preacher man thinks he should insist on his right to his voice as an intellectual property then Pastor Mensa Otabil should trace the descendants of Bible writers, including Moses, who wrote the book of Genesis and pay them royalties for quoting copiously from the books to make points.

He said the man of God should also make sure he locates Jesus Christ and pay royalties for praying in His name.

“The Bible is neither a historical nor cultural manual of Ghana, it is a series of events and life stories of ancient people that have been put together by men who lived 2,000 years ago. If those things can be quoted by Pastor Otabil to suit a situation today, then why can’t the analysis of those same words by Otabil be quoted by someone else for the same purpose?”

But Pastor Mensa Otabil had lamented at the press conference, had spliced his denunciation of free education way to achieve a political end.

According to him, piecing together of his words from different unrelated sermons by the NDC to explain the reason the New patriotic Party’s (NPP) promise of free education is a hoax, has led to public hatred for him.

Since the press conference which came off last week, education watch, which has mainly sponsored the airing of the sermon on radio, has ensured that fuller versions of the sermons which denounced free education have been played on a radio.

In the fuller versions, Pastor Otabil is heard saying he does not believe in free education and that he would prefer that his employer paid him well so he would have the dignity of paying his children’s school fees.

In one other sermon, he is heard mocking free education as a cheapo that would equip subscribers’ children with watery knowledge, and yet the Education Watch’s use of the electorate to see through the free education promise by the NPP as a hoax incurred incentives from Pastor Otabil who said, among other things, that the action was evil and criminal.

According to him, no one had the right to use his voice without his permission. Kofi Wayo said Pastor Otabil’s call on the President to call his party people to order was totally unacceptable since the President is not the law.

“If the words he has been preaching is copyrighted let him go to court and fight his case there, and I will even support him. The President has nothing to do with this!” Wayo said.