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Opinions of Friday, 27 July 2007

Columnist: Akosah-Sarpong, Kofi

Nana Akuffo Addo and the Prophets

How do you fathom a highly rational man and one of his country’s leading intellectuals, who have used pretty much of his life-time fighting the irrational - from the dark periods of military dictatorships to crass human rights violations - the subject of immense prophetic interpretations? The curiosity borders on the fact that his formidable campaign machine, with its American-style campaign offices at Adabraka, a suburb of Accra, the capital, and himself have not responded to such prophetic chants, creating all kinds of superstitious feelings, against rational thoughts, in a culture where superstition is everyday diet in its development process.

Is it because he has no grasp of the implications of his country’s cultural norms, values and traditions in its progress like most of its elites? Or is it because of his immense Western education – from London to Paris, key centres of the groundbreaking European Enlightenment movements that opened the world into its on-going progress - he has, like most his country’s elites, lost feel of the nuances of the very environment his country’s progress is to be driven from? Ladies and Gentlemen, join me in analyzing Nana Akuffo Addo, the 63-year-old outgoing Minister for Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and NEPAD and one of the key presidential aspirants highly touted to win easily the December congress of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) to pick up the over 20 presidential candidates, as prophesied by one Prophet Amos Sarfo Adu, owner of Soldiers of Christ Ministry, one of Ghana’s booming spiritual churches that are fertilized by a society mired in disturbingly deep prophetic culture.

In the days and months to come, as the 2008 general elections gathers steam, the influence of prophets, Voodoo priests, Malams, Shamans, juju-marabouts and other spiritualists are on the ascendancy, as the Crusading Guide’s Kumasi-based James Donkor reports of Prophet Sarfo Adu prophesizing that Nana Akuffo Addo has being chosen by “the Almighty God told me that He (God) has chosen Nana Akuffo Addo to be the President of Ghana from 2009 to 2016.” Prophet Sarfo Adu said he had prophesied in the same manner about the incumbent President John Kufour and “that God spoke about President Kufuor in 1996 and commanded him (Kufuor) to visit him (Prophet) in 1998 and in 1999 at the late J.Y. Manu’s house in Accra and prayed for him in 2000 before the elections.” The issue is not to debase the prophets, the trouble is how their incredibly excessive influence on the entire Ghanaian life weakens rationalization of the development process, so much so that even the elites, like Nana Akuffo Addo, who are expected to radiate high-level reasoning to illuminate the developmental path, are under the heavy sway of the prophets, Voodoo priests, Malams, juju-marabout mediums, Shamans, and other spiritualists to the injury of Ghana’s larger progress.

As Ghana’s 2008 general elections closes in, spiritualists of all stripes, from afar and near in continental Africa, are not only ritualizing to help politicians like Nana Akuffo Addo, more for material gains than the spiritual health of Ghana, win elections but also interpret political events in prophetic terms. Newspapers, part of the objective society, like the political parties, equally more attuned to material gains than the rational growth of Ghana, are caught in the cross-current of the bumbling spiritualists. Like the “Crusading Guide,” newspapers realizing how the gullible public is moved by such enticing tales of the prophetic in the realm of the political, and how this sells newspapers, give the prophetic interpretations of the Nana Akuffo Addos much more coverage to the detriment of high-level analyzes and reasoning needed to lighten up the development process in a country which certain parts of its culture hamper its progress. Added to this is the Nana Akuffo Addo’s well-built campaign machine not distancing itself from the prophets and other spiritualists, as a way of rationalizing the electoral process, by issuing statements to the effect that the success of Nana Akuffo Addo’s emerging as a potential winner of the ruling NPP presidential candidate is shaped by hard work, strategy, long-term planning, brutal dedication, steadfastness, and his long-running struggles for Ghana’s democracy, to the risk of his life, that have endeared him to his party and Ghanaians, and not any unseen forces manipulating Ghanaians to elect him.



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