Pastor Mensah Otabil
MOTIVATIONAL preacher, Ge n e r a l Overseer and Founder of International Central Gospel Church (ICGC), Pastor Mensah Otabil, says current happenings in Ghana show that the ship of the state is sinking.
‘We are in this ocean and our ship is going down,’ he said at the 2014 ‘Festival of Ideas’ organized by Legacy and Legacy in Accra last Thursday.
‘I haven’t given you a lot to be happy about.
That’s not my job! We can’t pretend it is a party on board our ship and I hope the captains of the ship don’t behave like the captain of the first Titanic who was so over-confident that he allowed thousands of people to die just because he wasn’t prepared for the crisis,’ he said ominously.
President John Mahama had said in a message at this year’s Eid-ul-Fitr festival in Kumasi that he was the captain of the ship and he knew where he was taking the country to.
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, a presidential hopeful, then told President Mahama that the ship he was steering was sinking, which Pastor Otabil reechoed, adding that he was not the government and therefore ‘I don’t control the economy…If they make good decisions, good for us, if they don’t, we prepare for the worst’.
All is not well Pastor Otabil said; ‘It has been said that we are in a crisis in our country.
That’s a bit subjective based on who is saying what? But we can all say all is not well… I believe that we need a new leadership response in our national life.
We cannot continue partying and we cannot assume that things will get better.’
Pastor Otabil, who also founded one of Ghana’s leading private tertiary institutions, Central University College, said ‘it is obvious that the times we are in require leadership that responds to crisis with clarity and with purpose.’
Likening Ghana’s current situation to the story of the Titanic, the British ship that sunk in 1912 when everybody thought it was unsinkable, Pastor Otabil said because the handlers of the ship hadn’t really planned on how to evacuate, they didn’t know what to do when the disaster occurred.
‘On the morning of April 15, 1912, the Titanic sunk. It was a ship that was considered unsinkable. It had the latest technology of its day. It had been built with the intention that it will survive the hazards of the sea and yet it hit an iceberg and within two and half hours it was down on the ocean’s floor,’ he narrated.
The Pastor said, ‘We have to act intentionally, decisively, methodically and if we do at the national level, I think we can avert a national disaster…But also as people who are players in our national life whether as pastors, educators, finance people, we can’t afford to be perplexed and so overwhelmed by what we hear, we see that we become frozen in action and do nothing.’
He said ‘much as I am a pastor and I believe in God, and I believe in prayer that we can turn things around, the Cedi has a very peculiar mind on its own. Much as I wish the Cedi would remain where it is and improve in value, that scenario of ten to one is a possibility.
I don’t wish it or hope for it or expect it, but it can happen!
‘Instead of sitting here hoping that everything will be alright, I think it will be great for us to face the reality that things could get worse and if they do, what do we do? As much as we want to assume the best, the worst could be happening.’
He said he had never seen prices go down in Ghana, adding that ‘it seems we are on a permanent trajectory of deterioration.
When things go bad they don’t revert to normal so I find it very difficult to see things getting back to normal based on my experience as a Ghanaian.
‘Since I am not government, I don’t control the economy. I only respond.
Some people make those decisions then I respond. If they make good decisions, good for us, if they make bad decisions I still have to respond. I still have to move my ship. I still have to move on and still try to rescue a few and save what I can save.’
He encouraged business owners saying, ‘It may be choppy waters in the future but you still have to move.
You still have to be decisive!’
As usual, the NDC appointees have started attacking the Pastor for expressing his views about the current state of affairs in the country.
Dr. Edward Omane Kofi Boamah, Minister for Communications told Joy Fm that though he is hesitant in touching what he called ‘God’s anointed’, he believed Pastor Otabil’s position was unfortunate.
“I have a limitation here; the good book says touch not my anointed. But the kind of picture he is trying to paint is unfortunate.’
BY William Yaw Owusu
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