The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) is appalled by reports of physical attack on some staff of Radio XYZ, an Accra-based private radio station, by the founder and leader of the Glorious Word and Power Ministries International, Isaac Owusu-Bempah. We unreservedly condemn the action by Owusu-Bempah and call on the police to immediately arrest and prosecute him. That’s according to a statement signed by the Association’s President, Roland Affail Monney.
The statement which was copied to gbcghanaonline.com said: “Last Friday, March 15, 2019, Owusu-Bempah was reported to have stormed the premises of the radio station in the company of four gun-wielding thugs in search of a presenter of the radio station. In the process, he and his armed cohorts allegedly manhandled the administrator and other staff of the radio station.”
“The attack on Radio XYZ comes exactly four months after Owusu-Bempah reportedly vandalized studio equipment at Hot FM, another Accra-based radio station. Featuring in a Current Affairs programme on the station on December 13, 2018, he, in a fit of rage, allegedly vandalized the studio equipment. These two instances of attack on radio stations within a spate of four months are clear indications that the ‘man of God’ is fast gaining notoriety as a ‘man of violence’ and for which reason he must be checked.”
It continued: “In that regard, the GJA calls on the Ghana Police Service to immediately arrest Owusu-Bempah and prosecute him in order to deter him, his assigns and other like-minded persons from conducting themselves in similar manner in the future. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, under Article 17(1), provides in unambiguous terms that no person is above the law. That constitutional provision must be upheld by reorienting Owusu-Bempah as being a subject, not lord, of the law.”
“We also call on the Christian Council of Ghana, Ghana Catholic Secretariat, Ghana Pentecostal Council, Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council and other Christian bodies, as well as the clergy and Christendom in general to roundly condemn the violent conduct of Owusu-Bempah, which has brought the name of their faith into contempt, disrepute and ridicule. We do not believe assault and violence are the prodding of the Holy Spirit. That is why in their quest to rescue the perishing, Christendom in Ghana must rein in Owusu-Bempah and also endeavour to exorcise whatever spirit that spurs him to betray the godliness of Christianity for a conduct spurred by some other spirits.”
“The GJA wishes to remind Owusu-Bempah that in a democratic dispensation, the means to seek redress to grievances are governed by the rule of law and civility. Assault, violence and similar conducts are not civil means of seeking redress to grievances. Even if he does not appreciate the rule of law, the Bible from which he purports to derive his ministerial calling does not condone assault and violence. From the Old Testament period when God rebuked Cain for killing his brother Abel, to the New Testament era when Jesus Christ rebuked Peter for slashing the ear of one of his (Jesus’) captors, the Bible is replete with instances of how God abhors violence by man against man. And we urge Owusu-Bempah to seek counsel and spiritual edification in the words of Jesus Christ to Peter after the latter’s violent conduct at Gethsemane: “Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword” (Matthew 26:52 – KJV).
“The GJA wishes to take this opportunity to reiterate its call on members and other media practitioners in general not to be intimidated by deviants of the rule of law who may want to use violence as a weapon to stifle press freedom. We have a constitutional mandate to discharge and we must do so without fear or favour.” the statement further stated.
“We, however, advise journalists and other media practitioners to uphold high professional standards at all times and endeavour to be a bedfellow of only the truth. Our calling is to report the truth as stainless as it is and not to mix truth with derogatory, insulting or provocative comments. That notwithstanding, there is no justification whatsoever for the conduct of Owusu-Bempah.” It concluded.