Posted: Sunday 17th August 2014 at 12:06 pm

Rjecting Otabil’s advice is a sign of weakness, arrogance – Kwaku Baako


Journalist Malik Kwaku Baako Jnr is asking government and managers of Ghana’s economy to take renowned preacher, Mensa Otabil’s “sinking ship” sermon seriously.

The New Crusading Guide newspaper Editor-In-Chief says Dr Otabil’s sermon, which has received significant condemnation from government’s communicators, was an apt description of the situation the country finds itself.

“To refuse it is a sign of weakness, and indeed to some extent, [it is] arrogance…to think that you are the only one and that you don’t want advice from certain quarters. Reverend Otabil has been politically tagged, and this I think must stop”, he said on Joy FM and MultiTV’s news analysis programme, Newsfile, Saturday.

At the Festival of Ideas 2014 last Thursday, Dr Otabil, who is Head Pastor of the International Central Gospel Church, used the story of the Titanic to illustrate leadership response to crisis.

Dr Otabil said the leadership skills of the captains of three different ships either led to the loss of lives or protection of same – noting that the complacency of the Titanic’s captain led to loss of lives.

He, therefore, charged the country’sand economic political leadership not to adopt the leadership style of captain Smith of the Titanic who was too confident and failed to appreciate the crisis and to act decisively to protect life abd property.

Dr Otabil said the appropriate response to a crisis situation was the one adopted by the captain of Caperthia – one of the three ships he used to illustrate his message — who did not leave anything to chance, sailed his ship from a farther distance and helped to save lives. The Califonia, was the third ship.

Dr Otabil insisted the country needed a new “leadership response” in the country, adding Ghana’s ship, like the Titanic, was sinking.

After that comment, government’s communicators have fired a barrage of rebuttals and condemnation of Dr Otabil’s prognosis, insisting the economy is not in dire straits as he is seeking to suggest.

First it was Communications Minister, Edward Omane-Boamah, who let out his disapproval of the preacher’s analysis of the country’s leadership.

Then National Democratic Congress (NDC) hard-liner, Sam George, alleged Dr Otabil’s stance towards government was because he had been stripped of diplomatic privileges – a claim Dr Otabil’s spokesperson, Albert Ocran has vehemently debunked .

This is not the first time the renowned preacher has earned the displeasure of the NDC. In 2012 he clashed with the NDC after what party faithfuls said were distasteful comments on issues of national development, particularly education.

Speaking on the latest controversy on Newsfile Saturday, Mr Baako said government’s reactions to Dr Otabil’s message piles onto a steady inconsistency from government.

He first cited government’s unflinching stance towards a $3 billion China Development Bank (CDB) loan, despite numerous advice from civil society and analysts, until “after long dragging of feet [government] had to revise that loan”.

Even though government recently slashed the loan it was seeking from the Chinese by half, it had always rejected advice from civil society, notably IMANI Ghana, who maintained that the country will not be able to satisfy the strict credit requirements of the China Development Bank – the lender.

Also, the Bank of Ghana recently scrapped all foreign exchange measures it introduced to shore up the falling Ghana cedi, after government persistently rejected the advice of economists and experts on the measures.

“All those things put together show a certain level of inconsistency”, Mr Baako said, adding it worked against government’s efforts to build policy credibility and restoration of confidence in Ghana’s economy, the reason for which government has had to eat a humble pie and turn to the International Monetary Fund for a bailout.

“I would rather advise the leaders of this country to take on board what reverened Otabil is saying”, he said. Story by Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | George Nyavor | [email protected]

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