Foul Mouths, Integrity, The Church, 2012 – By Kwame Gyan

I have nothing against people like Tony Aidoo. Really, who am I to have anything against them? I am but a poor Ghanaian blogger. However truth be told, when one listens to the tone and posture of people like him, Fiifi Kwetey, Twum Boafo and the others who have decided to continue with the blatant labeling and tongue lashing of people perceived not to be in favour of what the party stands for. A lot of things have been said about the Otabil tape and the back and forth have gone on. Without belaboring the point, I believe Otabil and the ICGC could have handled the matter in a better way. However I don’t begrudge them. Pastors are human beings first. That is what I think we lose sight of most of the time. If I were a pastor and people abused me they way they have, I would probably get mad too.

Having said this, who stands to lose in an election year where the last President won with just about 40,000 votes? I have heard this whole nonsense about Otabil ‘been NPP’ and Duncan Williams for example ‘been NDC’. I find all those tags as stupid and unnecessary. If any pastor mounts the pulpit and starts politicking then I could possibly call him names and lose respect for him. I don’t recall anyone saying Otabil has used ICGC ‘to do politics’. Whether or not the NDC’s sharp tongue brigade like it, Otabil is widely respected by a lot of people, including folks who do not attend his church, and others who do not even believe in his religion. He does speak sense and he practically lifts the Bible into people’s daily lives. He uses common sense to let us all know what we ought to know. He does have a following; a following who will not like it when ‘their man’ is spoken down upon like has happened. We have also seen the support other church leaders have lent. Add that to the attacks on the Presby Church not too long ago which led Twum Boafo to resign from the church he was never a member of to start with.

Who goes to war with the church in an election year?

I have said before that the NDC has issues with people who speak for them. I have a feeling that if JM wins 2012 he will overhaul the entire communication approach of the party. He does not have the luxury of time to do that now but as he bids his time, the people he will be firing are making his campaign a wee bit tougher by speaking ‘by heart’. Is funny that after Tony Aidoo had taken Otabil to the cleaners shouting hoarse that the renowned pastor has no integrity, he gets exposed for buying a car used by Kufour’s convoy less than a few years ago for a paltry 6,200 cedis. I sold my 2004 or so Mazda Protégé for more than 6,200! Tony Aidoo’s only defense was that the vehicle had no gear box! Such nonsense! And when he was exposed too, he had the balls to threaten a court action against my little brother Sammi Awuku. You see how folks like him are hurting the Mahama campaign?

I don’t need to conduct a research to know just how serious Ghanaians take religion. Yes quote me Karl Max if you want! So if a party decides to use people whose postures are generally unfriendly and smack of arrogance with just weeks before an election, then it is fair to say they are not taking the battle ahead serious enough. I daresay the NDC has lost a few votes from their handling of Otabil’s issue. To quote my good friend Bright Simons as he analyzed the NDC’s posture in the brands space, “It is losing the *brand war*. That is not to say that the NPP is doing marvelous, just that the NDC is comparatively much weaker. I locate the origin of this Achilles Heel of the party that once prided itself as the “only truly national party” in something I have christened: “The Otabil Effect” – the rise of a new, cross-sectional, cross-structural, “aspirational class”, and the narratives of social life it nurtures”.

If the NDC manages to scrap through 2012, they will need to do some serious introspection and keep people like Tony Aidoo and his sharp tongue brigade in the background.

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