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Why blame Prophet T.B. Joshua?
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Opinions of Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Columnist: Newton-Offei, Justice Abeeku

Why blame Prophet T.B. Joshua?

I would first of all take the opportunity to express my deepest condolence to families of four victims of stampede that occurred at the premises of synagogue church of all nations, on the morning of Sunday, 20th may, 2013.Also, my prayers are with those that sustained various degrees of injuries and I wish them very speedy recovery. I would also like to make it known that I’m neither a member of SCOAN,nor,have I ever visited the church before.Nonethelsss,I do watch his ‘Emmanuel Television’ programmes which always depict the man’s prowess in forecasting of future events in all fields of human endeavor.

Now, when it comes to matters of people’s belief by way of personal relationship with God, it is strictly a private affair which is very much difficult for any other individual to determine the veracity or otherwise of what people profess. This is why it is completely unfair to criticize others for pressing to believe in whatever they choose to believe in since what a Christian will see as very righteous in the sight of THE ALMIGHTY GOD might not be seen in the same light by our brothers/sisters from other religious persuations.The point of convergence, however, has always been our collective desire to live in peace here on this earth, while aspiring to reach the ultimate goal of booking a seat in paradise.

As a people, we often jump onto conclusions when matters that need to be critically examined confront us. A week ago, speculations were rife around the country about a visit of T.B Joshua to Ghana and this resulted in massing up of people at the premises of SCOAN on the Spintex road, resulting in massive vehicular traffic jam and casing so much grief to commuters on that corridor. The police, as usual, were there to do their part of national duty by way of traffic control and crowd management, and by the grace of God, no incident of fatality occurred.

Characteristically, we made our usual noise, as Ghanaians, for a couple of days and simply went to bed over the matter. Some people even described those that massed-up at the church in anticipation of seeing T.B Joshua in flesh and having possible solutions to their personal problems, be it economic, social or spiritual, as lazy people who are not ready to work with their hands, earn income and get their lives together, but have rather chosen the easy option of depending on miracles for solutions to their problems. But a critical scrutiny of those who made such disparaging remarks about people that thronged to see T.B. Joshua, are themselves very lazy people in whatever they do by way of their chosen profession but have become fabulously rich just by way of being in the pockets of political office holders. Some of these people who always sit in front of micro-phones in studios of radio/TV stations as presenters and are always quick to pass judgment on others as being poor as a result of laziness, will find themselves in a state of untold calamitous poverty if their sources of income which are inextricably linked to singing the praises of corrupt political office holders are severed.

And because Ghana’s media space is unfortunately being dominated by people who put premium on what they seek to gain in-return for being sycophantic rather than raising issues that bother on the survival of ordinary citizens, those that thronged the premises of SCOAN were simply tagged as lazy and the matter was allowed to die a natural death.

But in any serious society, what the media would have done was to have delved deep into what actually motivated the people to mass up at the premises of SCOAN in anticipation of receiving a ‘miraculous solutions to their myriad of problems, some of which might not even have anything to do with matters of spirituality.

Instead of radio/TV presenters joining the chorus to brand people who are in distress and therefore seeking solutions, in whichever avenue possible, as lazy, these presenters should have rather brought on-board learned people in the fields of socio-economic dynamics to actually diagnose what really occasioned the rush. Expertise of social psychologists would have also been very much handy in this regard and sectorial government officials brought onboard to tell the citizenry what their respective ministries are doing to help the socio-economically disenfranchised section of our citizenry. We simply branded the people as lazy and left irresponsible government appointees whose duty it is to dream-up policy alternatives to alleviate poverty in our society.

The fact is that, Ghana, at the moment, is in a very serious socio-economic crisis which was fittingly admitted by the president when he told the whole nation that the entire flesh on our nation’s coffers has been chopped off with only the bare bones remining.job avenues have become totally non-existent with mass numbers of university graduates roaming the streets of our cities and towns aimlessly. Hundreds of thousands of both JHS and SHS graduates are being thrown onto the streets as peddlers of toffees, chewing gums, dog-chains, borikina etc. at our various traffic intersections.

These members of our society who virtually live on the streets by way of eking out a living, also end up getting pregnant, giving birth and bringing these kids up on the streets and with our social service department completely extinct, kids of these people grow up with no hope of either making a headway on the academic ladder or learning any profitable skill to enable them become self-reliant and productive citizems.These kids, in their adult-hood, therefore become prone to social vices while those that might have a bit of sense of direction,intuitively,might tend to religion for the gap society has created in their human developmental process, to be filled by divine interventions. And since nature abhors vacuum, an avenue to satisfy the needs of these unfortunate members of society is always provided by people who will also proffer solutions with intention of satisfying their personal greed or genuinely ready to help the poor.meanwhile,Ghana has nearly ninety minsters who are being provided with all the comfort under the sun, at the expense of ordinary taxpayers, to just come up with innovative policy alternatives to alleviate socio-economic woes of the deprived section of the citizenry.

But after enjoying all the trappings that comes with their official appointments, they forget to reason as ministers of state who are expected to work in the interest of the citizenry, and rather continue to behave as any other ordinary party foot-soldier, by way of analyzing issues, when serious national issues are put on the table for dissection. After describing those that massed up at the premises of SCOAN as lazy people, we simply went to bed and thought the problem had disappeared when the pull factor existing between these people and prospects of having some kind of divine intervention at the feet of T.B. Joshua still exists.So,I was not surprised to wake up on the morning of Sunday,20th may 2013,to the news that there had been a stampede at SCOAN and four people had lost their lives with many others sustaining various degrees of injuries.

I have had the opportunity to live in most of these developed countries and I can say it with all certainty that this kind of frantic rush to a church in search of solution to one’s problems will never happen in any of these countries. And the reason is very simple; citizens of these nations are very much enlightened and are therefore in the position to hold the feet of their leaders to the fire.in much the same way, leaders of these nations are very responsible and forward-looking who always think about the welfare of their people and the legacy they intend to leave behind, rather than filling their pockets and that of their cronies, with proceeds of state while greater masses of their citizenry continue to wallow in obscene impecunious ,which is what has unfortunately been the lot of Africans.

The bare fact is that T.B. Joshua did not advertise anywhere that he was going to distribute free “anointing water” at his church in Ghana, and that, people should mass up at his church premises. People are falling for these miracle performers because they have needs that have to been met by our elected public officials.

Effectiveky,the bashing of T.B. Joshua over the unfortunate loss of four lives, in my candid view, must rather be directed at African politicians, who through plain-faced thievery and visionless leadership, have rendered their people hopelessly impoverished and therefore forcing them to seek solace in miracles.

Justice Abeeku Newton-Offei E-mail: justnoff@yahoo.com

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