General News of Monday, 19 January 2015
Founder of the International Central Gospel Church, Mensa Otabil has wondered why Ghanaians have consistently kept two main political parties, New Patriotic Party (NPP) and National Democratic Congress (NDC) in power for the past 22 years.
In a sermon replayed on Joy FM, Mensa Otabil questioned the difference between Ghana’s two main political parties who have held power since 1992.
“If you asked the average Ghanaian, what is the main difference between the main political parties in Ghana beyond slogans, symbols, candidates and tribal affiliations? Beyond that what is the main difference,” the controversy-prone pastor said.
He was continuing his series on Wisdom, based on a parable in the Bible that draws a parallel between a wise and foolish builder. The passage is found in Matthew 7:24-27.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice, is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice, is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash”.
He said a wise builder looks out for deeper principles and questions everything he hears while the foolish builder takes easy decisions.
Anchoring his explanation into an example, Otabil picked up on the voting patterns of Ghanaians and wondered what informed voting choices.
“Sometimes a whole nation makes decisions based on surface, just the surface”.
The governing NDC was in power under President Jerry Rawlings from 1992 to 2001. The NPP led by President John Agyekum Kufuor took over in 2001 and lost to the NDC in 2008. Vice-President John Mahama continued after President John Evans Atta Mills died while in office.
Current President Mahama was armed with a fresh mandate in 2012. Otabil who has once branded Ghana as a “sinking ship”, challenged his congregation and Ghanaians to take more critical decisions when voting.
“So when you are voting what do you vote for?”
Ghanaians will go to the polls in December 2016 to elect a president and 275 members Parliament.
According to Otabil, Ghana’s parliamentarians are too hasty to pass bills that have immense effect on the lives of people. In contrast, he said an African country with the motto “slow and firm” could take five years to debate a single bill.
This country, he said is an example of a wise builder.
The consequences of making surface decisions such as who to vote for can have dire consequences, he warned. Life principles are no respecter of persons, Pastor Otabil noted.
Like an innocent child who plugs a live electrical cable into his mouth, the consequences will be “cruel”, he explained.
“It is not going to pardon them because they are innocent. You can’t make decisions made on surface appearance”.
Nonetheless, the ICGC pastor said being foolish or wise is not a permanent feature in any person’s life.
“It is not a sin to be foolish so far as you can repent”, he counseled.