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Opinions of Sunday, 25 November 2012

Columnist: Annor, Joe

Otabil Saga, the NDC Pride and the Voting Consequence

Pastor Mensah Otabil Saga, the NDC Pride and the Voting Consequence

Psalm 105:15 "Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm” While good leaders are supposed to be firm even in times of mounting criticisms, they also need to be fair and humble. In this regard, both former Presidents Kuffour and (late) Atta Mills are said to be humble, hence, President Kuffour referred to as the "Gentle Giant" and President Mills as "Asomdwehene" (Prince of Peace). This does not mean that they were necessarily good leaders, but at least they are considered to be humble.

However, some of the Ghanaian politicians are not humble at all, particularly, some ministers and other party officials. While we have seen this spirit of arrogance in our politicians since independence, perhaps, this character of pride has become more, rampantly manifest in some of the current NDC government appointees. Everyone who is familiar with Ghana politics know how people like Ablakwah, Koku Anyidoho, Fiifi Kwetey, Kobby Acheampong and others insult not only their political opponents, but other people as well. The arrogance of these NDC members have no limit as some of them have insulted Mr Kuffour and even strangely, treating former President Rawlings with the most despicable contempt. Mr Asiedu Nketia, the General Secretary of NDC, for instance, referred Mr Rawlings to as a “barking dog”. However, the most disturbing emerging trend of late is that some NDC members are insulting other prominent people in Ghana, particularly, the clergy. Just some few months ago, the notorious Asiedu Nketia insulted the Moderator (head) of the Presbyterian Church.

As if the above is not enough, some NDC members, especially, Dr Tony Aidoo, are insulting Pastor Mensah Otabil and his only crime is that he has spoken against some NDC members who have deceitfully put together pieces of his old sermons and quoted him out of context that he does not support free education. Pastor Otabil has spoken against this deceit; as a result, some NDC members, particularly, Dr Aidoo has descended on him heavily.

However, these members of NDC do not realise that this arrogant behaviour has strong potential to affect their fortunes in the December elections, as Christians may punish them when voting. On the other hand, some NDC pseudo writers like Dr Michael Bokor, claim that NDC has Christian members as NPP has, therefore Pastor Otabil's issue will not affect the fortunes of NDC, and that NPP is making irrelevant case out of it. However, because of the partisan thinking of Dr Bokor and his likes, they wrongly argue that Christians may not punish NDC for the insults of the prominent religious leaders. There is no doubt that some NDC members are Christians and they are most likely to vote for NDC irrespective of whatever is happening. However, the most important element among the Christians that the constant insults of the pastors may influence their voting are those that are also floating voters. As far as the floating voters are concerned, they vote on the basis of how they see issues happening in Ghana politics. Therefore, some Christian floating voters may decide to vote for one person or the other just on the basis of the issue under discussion. Therefore, if Dr Bakor and others think otherwise, then they are day dreaming, as Dr Aidoo and others are clearly alienating some of these people from voting for NDC. Significantly, it is these swing voters that are going to determine the outcome of the elections. I remember that in the 2008 elections, Mr Asamoah Boateng is said to have lost his seat because he was perceived to be arrogant. Therefore, insulting Dr Mensah Otabil just some few weeks before an election may be suicidal.

Also, from religiously point of view, the attacks on Pastor Otabil and other clerics are not good for NDC. Believe it or not, God does not take it kindly those who insult his anointed for no apparent reason. That is while God spoke through David in Psalm 105:15 that "Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm." So if today, Tony Aidoo and others are insulting the prominent pastors 'by heart' they should understand that there is consequence for that.

In fact, it appears e that the whole NDC machinery has become too arrogant —boasting of things they have not achieved, and as such believe that they can insult people without any damning consequence for them. According to Proverbs 8:13 and 6:16-19, arrogance and pride are some of the things that God hates most. It is against this background that David wrote in Psalm 5:5 that “The boastful shall not stand before your (God’s) eyes. Luke 14:11 states "For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted”. Therefore, if Ablakwah claims the government has created 1.7 million jobs, when that is not true, then there is problem for the Government. In short, the current NDC members have become too arrogant, using propaganda and lies to claim credit for what they have not done. It is not surprising that Baba Jamal (as Deputy Minister of Information) in August 2011, threatened the workers of the Information Ministry that if the NDC gov't buys a sheep, and the workers do not say it is a cow, they will be sacked.


Folks, as I have outlined above, a successful government cannot be run on lies, propaganda and insults. In fact, it appears that among all the parties in Ghana it is only NDC that has designated titles for positions of propaganda secretaries; very strange indeed! Therefore, the day of NDC’s accountability appears to be fast approaching.