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Opinions of Monday, 30 March 2020

Columnist: D. C. Kwame Kwakye

What is it with men of God and cars?

It appears some so called men of God are in competition with others regarding the usage of cars in recent times. These men of God have now moved from the usage of normal cars to now the usage of exotic cars. Some of them talk about their cars in church and on their television stations with disregard to what their church members or the general public feels about the show of such opulence by so called men of God.

Prophet Emmanuel Kobi Badu, the Founder and General overseer of Glorious Wave Church International, President of Kingdom Bible College and Emmanuel Kobi Ministries has been in the news for all the bad reasons.

On the 31st of July 2019, Prophet Emmanuel Badu Kobi, made disparaging remarks against Asante women in a sermon he delivered in his church. In a video that went viral, Badu Kobi suggested that Asante women are greedy, Fante women are foolish, and Ewe women are like doormats. Going further, the renowned prophet advised men not to marry Asante women because of the greed they bring into marriage. Badu Kobi's statements was deemed by many as tribalistic and triggered a lot of reactions from a section of Ghanaians.

Early on in that same year on 12th February, a story captioned "I will overthrow Akufo-Addo's government spiritually - Prophet Badu Kobi". The story is reported as the founder and leader of Glorious Wave Church International, Prophet Emmanuel Badu Kobi has revealed that he will overthrow the Akufo Addo-led administration spiritually and it will be manifested physically.

According to the prophet, the government is destroying businesses in the country and if nothing is done about that, he will take action. He went on to state that “In Ghana, some things are happening and I’m the best person to tell them they are wrong and I use this medium to speak to the leader of the nation, Nana Akufo-Addo, who is the president, that from today if they don’t understand governance they must go and learn". He continued that “they are destroying people’s businesses since they came into power by reason of political partisanship; and in my day, you don’t spoil anybody’s business. If they came for the nation to be better, as they said, then they must change because most businesses are on their knees because of their parochial, political partisan mind; and in my day, I say no to them". He further stated that “they are buying the cars and Ghanaians are in poverty and I put it to them, they must stop, otherwise, some of us will remove them spiritually and it will happen in the physical. And when people attack people, what is the Commission of Inquiry? Somebody said I sent them, why don’t you call the person to order? Why don’t you give the person out to the law”, he further added (Ghanaweb.com, 2019).

In a related story written by Jeffrey Mensah on 7th June, 2019 titled "Badu Kobi gives 3 solid reasons why NPP must remove Akufo-Addo as next flagbearer". In this story, Prophet Badu Kobi is reported to have given given 3 solid reasons why NPP must remove Akufo-Addo as next flagbearer and stated that President Nana Akufo-Addo must step down as a president.

According to him, Akufo-Addo has failed woefully as the leader of Ghana and must therefore not be made to continue. Speaking in a video Badu Kobi stated that times have become harder than it was since Akufo-Addo came to power (www.MSN.com).

The above two stories depict the prophet as someone who has developed a penchant in attacking president Akufo Addo. Such attakcs did not go down well with the MP for Assin Central, Mr Kennedy Ohene Agyapong who has assailed the integrity of the prophet by attacking his persona.

In a story published on Ghanaweb, 2020 and titled "Prophet Badu Kobi is a thief and a rapist – Hon. Kennedy Agyapong fires". In this story, the MP is reported to have said that "It’s an undeniable fact that the Pastor has been on the heels of the government led by President Nana Akufo Addo stating that he is the worst president Ghana has ever had since independence".

But Hon. Kennedy Agyapong who doesn’t want anyone speaking ill about the government and the President has launched an attack on the pastor revealing some crimes committed by the man of God. During a radio interview on Oman FM, Kennedy Agyapong revealed that Badu Kobi is a thief who with the help of former President Mahama stole a lot of cars.

This did not go down well with the prophet who used his pulpit to respond to all the allegations Hon Agyapong said against him. He virtually said the MP has lied and has nothing to prove against him.

Some few days after Prophet Badu Kobi's reaction, it was reported that, two luxurious vehicles belonging to the founder and leader of the Glorious Wave Church, Prophet Emmanuel Badu Kobi have been confiscated by security operatives over unpaid duties. Two of the vehicles which I classify as exotic cars, a Lincoln Navigator and a Porsche Panamera with registration number GS 1707-18 have since been moved to Castle Annex by the operatives while there is a hunt to retrieve more of such vehicles belonging to the outspoken Man of God.

“We have so far seized two of the vehicles but he managed to hide the three from us so we are still searching for them. These cars were imported into the country under the previous administration and he failed to pay the duties for all of them. The number on the Porsche Panamera is fake”, a security man is reported to have said.

I'm not against any man of God driving a car of his choice. But why would some men of God have a graze for such exotic cars which were bought under dubious means? Why did he challenge the MP when he knew he had such cars with him? Why are pastors so inclined to having such cars at all cost? Can he claim to be a man of God or a merchant of God? Don't such behaviours from men of God compromise their position and that of Christianity? Why would a man of God pick up fights with a renowned a famous MP like Kennedy Agyapong to achieve to what? Now that he has been exposed to have imported cars without paying the right duties, what else would he have to say? And what happens to his church and flock? Has he been attacking the current president because he's not getting access to import cars without paying duties? Hasn't his behaviour put the former president's administration in bad light even if some unscrupulous people gave him that help? What would the police and the attorney general do in this current situation?

I think men of God must lead by example but this graze for cars and affluence isn't good enough and living in all the plush areas of town at the expense of the state and their flock needs much to be desired.

When I say Christianity is a multi-billion dollar industry and most men in there are a merchant and not men of God, others cringe. Christianity in itself isn't the problem but, the actions of some men of God is problematic to say the least.

In one of the sermons by archbishop Nicholas Duncan Williams recently, he said that one of his son's wanted to buy him a Rolls Royce car but he felt that wasn't a wise decision to take. He rather told him to convert the car to cash and let him have it to help him complete one of his projects. He further said not all things that are allowable are wise decisions to take. So men of God must be wise and not court trouble for themselves.

In sum, it is always good to enjoy from one's sweat and men of God are no exception. Men of God can drive any car they please and can acquire as many as they can but, it appears some of then are living like Arabian kings or better still pop or sports stars at the expense of the state and their flock.

If it is true that Prophet Badu Kobi indeed bought cars without paying duties and those were hidden from the state, then no wonder our country is struggling. Those who must help us build our moral consciousness are themselves corrupt, then what do you expect to happen? He complains that, the country is hard, but why wouldn't the country be so if men of such caliber can deliberately steal from the state.

Men of God can drive cars but in all they do, they must note that humility is the key. They must preach the word, encourage their flock, engage in legal business that elevate their flock from the quagmire of poverty and stop engaging in preaching that divides us as a people. If truly and indeed, the prophet's behaviour amounts to tax evasion, then the law must apply.

I am terribly getting disappointed in the behaviour of some of these so called men of God and the cacophony they engage in. They are disgracing the Christian religion and all those who believe in it.

D. C. Kwame Kwakye

Broadcast Journalist

GBC Radio Central

asantekwakyek@yahoo.com