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Opinions of Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Columnist: Kwadwo Agyapong Antwi

The Politician, the people, the false Prophet and God: A candid conversation

The African politician is notorious for using God as prop when seeking the mandate of the people. You hear God in their speeches and campaign songs, and you see God on their paraphernalia, but what does God think about politics? Who does He cast his ballot for?

THE POLITICIAN: Vote for me. God is on my side. I care for you. I will solve all your problems and make your lives better.

GOD: Not really. My name is Yahweh; the sovereign God of love and wisdom. I am a monarch, I don’t practice democracy and I definitely do not take sides with evil and corruption, especially when it’s born out of greed and irrationality.

THE PEOPLE: [who, mostly out of desperation, spend countless hours putting pressure on God…] God remember your children in distress. We pray for a better life -employment, progress in business, means to provide for family, we need change, we need transformation, and we want to be happy (ultimately).

GOD: There’s only so much I can do. I usually focus on the bigger issues and I’ve actually done well in that regard. Oil, cocoa, gold, diamonds, arable lands, rivers and lakes and so many other blessings. You see, I provide the seeds (in the form of resources) and it’s your responsibility to make them flourish for the benefit of all. Don’t you think your life would be so much better if you hold your leaders more accountable? Your government is responsible for providing the enabling environment for you to pursue happiness. I provide joy not happiness. This is beginning to look like the parable of the talents…

THE FALSE PROPHET: [Intending to profit from the people's’ desperation…] Evil spirits inhabiting familiar and unfamiliar faces are responsible for your stagnation in life. [They don’t include the politician – who in terms of contribution to the people's’ predicament tends to play the bigger role] Pray harder. Fast often. Spend more time in our meetings. Give us your money because God needs it. Buy all these weird stuff we are selling [the people are desperate, so they are willing to obey any instruction and do any unimaginable thing]

GOD: Didn’t I admonish you to “do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves”?

THE FALSE PROPHET: Don’t you worry God; I’ll take care of this. These people are ignorant. Thanks to the corrupt politician many of these people never had the privilege of an education and many of those who did are products of a broken system that ‘schools’ but fails to educate and enlighten them. For lack of knowledge your people perish, but ignorance is my currency and I sure am making a heck of a lot from it.

THE POLITICIAN: [to The False Prophet] Isn’t it just amazing how I’ve managed to let these people believe that God is responsible for my responsibilities too? I’m I a genius or what? This arrangement sure makes life easier for me you know….see how they are so overwhelmed by the little I’m able to provide them from their own resources, and jubilant when I give them electricity after hours of blackout, fill their potholes, those handouts, etc.?

THE FALSE PROPHET: I don’t know how you managed to pull this off but it sure is good business for me….and wait a minute, I don’t even have to pay you for this. How you managed to create this enabling environment for my ‘’business’’ to thrive and still give me these tax incentives can only be the doing of the Lord…and it’s marvellous in my eyes! But hey don’t you even think about taxing me o! The people won’t be happy if you tax God and you need their votes, remember? Forget about the fact that many of them don’t even know what I do with their money….my luxurious lifestyle is only because God has blessed me for choosing to do His work. Yea I know God blessed John the Baptist too and Jesus was his son but there are no caves, donkeys and locusts around here you know – only mansions, all wheel drives and pizza. You know I’ve actually been wondering if the Roman soldiers ever crucified anyone with the size of my pot belly. How would they lift such a person up?

GOD: “Ah, shepherds of (my people) who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep? You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat ones, but you do not feed the sheep. The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them”………and cut.

So let’s get back to the question: does God have an interest in African elections as our politicians would have us believe?

By: Kwadwo Agyapong Antwi

The writer blogs on social and economic issues at www.thinkingWityou.wordpress.com