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Opinions of Friday, 24 May 2013

Columnist: Bannerman, Nii Lantey Okunka

Investigate and prosecute TB Joshua


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if found guilty: Wake up Ghanaians!!!

Ghanaians are known for their impeccable hospitality towards all. We are currently experimenting with democracy and therefore the rule of law. Should the rule of law and our hospitable nature amount to timidity? Should it? Why do I start off with such keen observations? I am inspired by God to speak up on Mr. Joshua! Hahaha! Well, T. B. Joshua, the fake prophet, rubbed me sore, with his pronouncement about compensating, the families of those who died at a church function, organized by his phalanx of corrupt money grabbing charlatans. Money, now equate lives in the eyes of a so called prophet. Bald face arrogance at its apogee!

At a quick glance, it seems charitable on the part of Mr. Joshua to extend compensation to the families of the victims. However, a careful perusal of the whole event may reveal troubling aspects that beg for careful consideration. If Mr. Joshua thinks he will have his way in Ghana, I have bad news for him. Ghana must not kowtow to fake prophets like Mr. Joshua. This so called prophet, for some reason, always brings darkness to Ghana. It was this same false prophet that misled our ex-president, John Atta Mills, leading to his own demise. As if his trickery was not enough, he came back and rubbed coarse salt in our gaping wounds by telling us not do perform autopsy on the dead president. Where Mr. Joshua, a non-citizen, gets his authority to comment on vital national issues in Ghana beats me. We must cut this fake prophet off our national affairs and hold him sternly responsible for any misdeeds that he champions in Ghana. And yes, I am a Pan Africanist who believes that, he, Mr. Joshua, has the privilege to visit and do business in Ghana, so long as he obeys our laws and steers clear of our national issues.

First and foremost, what safety provisions did Mr. Joshua and his phalanx put in place to avert the stampede that occurred? Did the church notify authorities of the event? What crowd level requires the involvement of public safety officials? Who profited from this event? How much money did T. B. Joshua make from this event? Why don’t we make this so called men of God account for their haul? Even if we don’t tax them, we must make them account for what they take in and how they intend to use the money to better the lives of the congregation. If I had my way, I will tax all churches and use the money to help the poor. Poverty tax is what I’ll call it! Where better than the church to raise poverty tax! Is it any wonder that Mr. Joshua rides a private jet and the poor people who contribute to his war chest cannot even afford trotro? Why can’t Ghanaians open their eyes to a scam when they see one? T. B. Joshua is up to no good. A little investigation will lead you to the truth about this con artist. Just Google his name alongside fake prophets and you shall surely get a good whiff of his tricks, gimmicks and indeed crimes. Why do our so called leaders tolerate this false prophet and many more in the country? Of course the so called leaders are just as dirty as this con artist.

Folks, imagine Nii goes out and shoots four people. What do you think will happen to Nii? Every country must value its people and place high premiums on their lives. If we don’t value our people, who will? Four Ghanaians did die unnecessarily. Instead of focusing on investigating what actually happened, Mr. Joshua is playing judge and jury by basically saying he will pay the families off. If this is not arrogance, I don’t know what is. Compensation is not justice and should not be the focus at this moment in the investigation. I pray that God pour his mercies on these families to sue the shirt off the back of Mr. Joshua. Mr. Joshua is not going to buy the lives of these precious Ghanaians. Ghana must not allow that to happen. He is not above the law and must be held accountable just as I will be. Indeed, this tactic of promising to pay off the families, tantamount to poisoning the investigation. Mr. Joshua must know that, this incident affects all Ghanaians. This incident is not just about the families. If I had my way, I will haul his ass to BNI and have him fully interrogated. Hold off with you ill-gotten money, Mr. Fake prophet!

Our police force must investigate this event thoroughly and hold the organizers responsible. This tragedy could easily have been averted if proper planning was in place. The problem with Ghanaians in particular but Africans in general, is that, we don’t plan well at all. Subsequently and logically, we don’t hold those in charge of planning accountable. Well, if you don’t plan then you plan to fail. If you are organizing an event of this magnitude, must the venue not be far bigger than this 1500 capacity church? Who was monitoring the crowd? Could the organizers have turned people away as part of crowd control? Who was in charge of safety and security for this event? What are the requirements for organizing something this big? Was a permit necessary? Will a permitting process have averted the deaths by raising the right questions? How do we make sure nothing like this happens again? Mr. Joshua must be held fully responsible for the death of these Ghanaians. Indeed, he should be prosecuted for at least manslaughter, if found liable. Ghana ought to trend toward the rule of law instead of the rule or personalities or celebrities. I hope the corrupt police are not drawn into this cesspool headed and monitored by T. B. Joshua.

My fellow Ghanaians, we are in very trying times. Our country has and continues to be badly managed. As a result, our people have become desperate and want a way out. Sensing this bulging desperation that grips Ghanaians, some horny and phony prophets are capitalizing big time. T. B. Joshua, I am afraid, is no exception. Ghanaians have a right to worship the way they deem fit. I am not here to tell anyone how to relate to God. However, Ghanaians must be a bit more discerning and ask themselves critical questions about some of these false prophets. More sobering, and intriguing, is the fact that, the bible warns of such false prophets. T. B. Joshua is not your ticket to salvation. Yes, even false prophets can pull a trick or two. Please don’t be fooled and stop contributing to the scam that keeps giving. How do we weed out these fake prophets from the open season of deception? How?

I know faith is a very tricky subject and also very personal. This makes it harder to warn others about the tricks and scams of these false prophets. However, we must open our eyes and be a bit more discerning. Holy water from T.B. Joshua is not your ticket to heaven or out of poverty. If T. B. Joshua has powers, why didn’t he save Atta Mills? The bottom line is that, most Ghanaians relish short cuts and unearned miracles as a fast way out of their debilitating plight. We repeat the same actions but expect different results. Until we infuse our thinking with a dose of reality, at the same time as we hold on to our faith, there is not much that will change. Indeed, I can guess that our chances of changing our situation, is far better with a demonstration on the streets, than a mad dash toward the fake prophet called T. B. Joshua. Imagine how we can change Ghana, if the same throng that beelined towards Mr. Joshua, beeline towards the politicians and demand change. Wake up my fellow Ghanaians. Enough!!

Nii Lantey Okunka Bannerman (Affectionately dubbed the double edge sword and mobbed as Santrofi Anoma)

I don’t give them hell, I just tell the truth and they think it is hell—Harry Truman

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