You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2011 03 09Article 204627

Opinions of Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Columnist: Poku, Kwadwo

Otabil's Prayer, An Insult To God And A Bite Of The Hands That Feeds Him

By Kwadwo Poku

It is with great pain for me to come to this forum, taking on one of the most revered men of our time. Before I cut to the chase I will like to preface by saying that I still have tremendous amount of respect for this man of God, irrespective of what he said or what I'm about to write. About a week ago, excerpts of on interview given to a media outlet were posted on this forum, it was the Rev. Dr. Mensa Otabil saying he prayed we never find oil because he believes finding oil won't help the country develop the work ethic required for a productive society. He also went on to say people will become corrupt because there will be no barriers. With all due respect it is illogical for him to make those statements. Imagine in your minds eye, going before the lord and asking him not to give a poverty stricken Ghana oil. Do you see how in-congruent this sounds?

Prior to the oil discovery at jubilee fields, there wasn't a smidgen of hope in the prospects of the nation finding oil. Not a single solitary Ghanaian can say he/she new oil reserves loomed on the horizon, and therefore was hopeful. Despite the explorations prior to the discovery, It was a foregone conclusion that we'll never be an oil rich nation. No one even bothered to ask God for oil since it would have been an exercise in futility, let alone pray not to have it. So I find it very difficult to believe under that circumstance, Dr. Otabil prayed on end for us not to find oil. The reasons he gave to the financial times of London, are not only a bite of the hands that feeds him, they are also an insult to God to say the least. Was he trying to say he knows best than God? If the oil revenue will not help develop the work ethic required for a productive society as he unwittingly postulates, is he then insinuating that God made a mistake in favoring us, after he (Otabil) prayed we don't find oil?

Dr. Otabil with all due respect to the office you hold as a man of God you are wrong. The Bible says every good and perfect thing comes from above. Why not say it was the devil who gave us the oil? Because if you knew from scratch to scotch that finding oil will be the bane of our demise as a productive nation, and you asked God (who is rich in mercy and great in grace) to withhold that from us, but we ended up getting it anyway, then it is the doing of the devil and not God if you are to be believed. Have you forgotten you presided over an oil thanksgiving service after the commencement of productions at jubilee fields in your church a couple of months ago? Why would you thank God for that which you know will not help your country? Please just stick to the message of the cross and don't take a detour through the neighborhood of politics, because when you do, you lend credence to the suspected fallacies of critics who are of the opinion that clergymen fleeces their flocks.

Folks this is a man who has been blessed tremendously by God through the agency of humanity, of whom the vast majority are Ghanaians who will be partakers of the oil benefits. And instead of joining voices in lifting up our leaders, for the lord to endow them with wisdom so they will be judicious in handling the oil revenue, he hides behind a gifted doctorate, forgetting from whence we have come, whiles he confuses us by subtleties. If Otabil is right, then either God was wrong in giving us the oil or the devil should be credited for giving us the oil. What ails me no end is the fact that there are countless Ghanaians who adores him so much that they will not take the time to decipher his pronouncements. Theirs is, If Otabil said it, that settles it. Sorry ! On this very issue, he is wrong. And I wish I had a euphemistic way of putting it.

Just as money is not the root of all evil but the love of money is, so is the discovery of oil not the bane of a country's demise but the misappropriation of it's revenue is. Not all of us will amass wealth by virtue of our callings as he's been highly favored in that regard and certainly not all Ghanaians will earn a living by the sweats and toils of a huge congregation. Some of us will have to pray, so God in his great grace will bless a poverty stricken nation like ours with oil, so the over 80% of Ghanaians who lives from hand to mouth can see light at the end of the miserable tunnel. Unlike this man of God whose influence parallels the effects of a weapon of mass instruction, I'm grateful to God for blessing Ghana with this coveted natural resource. And as we celebrate the 54th Anniversary of our Independence, It is my prayer that God bless my homeland Ghana and make us a blessing. And all of God's people shall say, Amen.

Kwadwo Poku N Y

Kwadwo Poku N Y