You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2014 02 07Article 299938

Opinions of Friday, 7 February 2014

Columnist: Abugri, George Sydney

Sky gazing, freak floods and two bishops

By George Sydney Abugri

Thanks to the emerging puzzles and mysteries of climate change, I was bee-busy working in the office in the late afternoon last Friday when unknown to me, vast, monstrous nimbus clouds had gathered and all but darkened out all the atmospheric light outside.

The significance of the sensation of a sudden and powerful momentum outside, followed by a whooshing sound, was momentarily lost on me because it was the last day of January and the last thing I thought of was rain at this time of the year, but rain it was and not just any ordinary rain, Jomo…
I parted the office blinds and holy Moses, the heavens had opened and mighty torrents were cascading down like Noah’s Day spun back into time. After about thirty minutes, the torrents appeared to get even fiercer. At one stage, I could have sworn that Accra was suddenly sinking under the Atlantic.
“Look, buddy, I am outta here…” I told someone as I rose and made for the door
“Are you crazy? It is raining cats and dogs and probably many other canines and felines besides.”
“I don’t want to be trapped in Accra” I told him: I grew up in a generation whose weatherman depended on sky gazing skills to forecast the weather for the guidance of crop famers and I had learnt that this was the kind of rain with the capacity to flood the spaces and suddenly maroon people and places. I went downstairs, run through the rain and jumped into a motorcar.
Many motorcars appeared to be half-submerged while in motion. What I observed next was in a meteorological sense, truly bizarre: While the rest of Accra appeared to be going down under the ocean, there were only signs of a brief drizzle at Teshie and Nungua. Sakumono and other Tema suburbs farther to the east were as dry as the Kalahari, which was a lucky thing, since hundreds of people at Adjei Kojo whose homes were recently demolished by the TDC are living in tents.
Otherwise, last Friday was as fine as Fridays come at Osu. Friday is apparently the very worst day of the week for any motorist to be in that part of the capital which has some of the narrowest streets on the planet. The problem of narrow streets at Osu is compounded by another Friday phenomenon: Friday it appears, is the day funerals are held in many parts of suburb.
Many roads at Osu are blocked for funeral ceremonies and the portions of the streets cordoned off, jam-packed with pavilions and plastic chairs.
What is going on here? That is what we asked a resident last Friday after finding several streets blocked for funeral ceremonies and driving round and round and round looking for an escape route from a terribly congested main road. The resident explained that apart from the Ako Adjei Park, there is no other park at Osu which the public could use for funeral ceremonies and since the park is not in close proximity with many communities, blocking off streets is the only way to obtain enough space to hold a funeral ceremony in!
I wonder what is afoot in Ghana’s clergy: “Duncan-Williams Spiritually Commands the Falling Cedi to Rise”, revealed one news headline this week. My response: Fantastic, Osofo. Absolutely fantastic.
The reporter claimed the archbishop last Sunday led his congregation in prayer to halt the progressive depreciation of our cedi against the almighty dollar: “I hold up the cedi with prayer and I command the cedi to recover…”
Jesus gave us this firm assurance: With faith, anyone could command the Pacific Ocean to relocate to the Sahara: Hiya! Geerrup then and run, falling cedi; Run until you have overtaken the dollar and the pound and the yen and rand and the deutschmark and the franc..!
I love the concept of sharing and that includes the bishop’s faith in the power of God to intervene in the affairs of men but the case of our seabed-bound cedi is one requiring that we meet God halfway in our expectations of His intervention. That would mean locally producing most of what we import, limiting any imports to the very barest minimum and then exporting and exporting and exporting Ghanaian products as if there were no tomorrow.
That way, we earn loads of dollars which then become readily available and cheaper to buy.
Another evangelist got himself into a spot of bother with National Democratic Congress activists after he accused President Mahama of taking a snooze on the job. One report quoted Obuasi Diocesan Bishop of the Methodist Church Rt. Rev. Bosomtwi-Ayensu as expressing his frustration with the failure of fervent prayers and multiple rounds of fasting to change the nation’s circumstances around.
The time had come for him and other clergy to confront the president and his ministers “face to face” over their lacklustre performance, he said. As you might expect, Osofo got some verbal lashing for all his pulpit-based crusading troubles.”
Without suggesting that John Mahama is a bad leader as leaders come in Africa, we might ask what the scriptures teach about public attitude toward bad leaders. It is unlikely that anyone would become a national leader without God’s approval. If he turns out to be a bad leader, the scriptures teach respect for his authority as long as God permits him to remain in office for His own reasons.
That is why even when a very easy opportunity presented itself, David refrained from killing Saul, a bad leader by all accounts, who was also gunning for David’s skull.
That is not to discourage us from justified criticism of those in authority as long as such criticism is constructive and not done in a manner that suggests hostility or disrespect toward those in authority. Jesus refused to be trapped into any partisan confrontations with the political authorities of his day, and exhorted those who tried to trap him to render unto God what was God’s and let the political authorities keep their cut {of power.}
All that apart, perceptions that a pastor is dabbling in partisan politics could easily divide his congregation neatly into two divergent halves, anaa..?
Website: www.sydneyabugri.com/Web
Email: editing@sydneyabugri.com