Pastor Owusu Bempah is a religious huckster whose stock-in-trade revolves around the macabre predictions of the demise of prominent citizens while conveniently ignoring his own mortality.
Bempah isn't a novelty; Ghana is awash with his kind; they are ubiquitous, in street corners, on rickety tro-tro buses, with worn out bibles in hand and in shrill voices extolling the virtues of getting closer to the Creator --- God.
From these "humbling beginnings," some have gone on to "big things" --- building mega churches, attracting outsize followings and becoming incredibly opulent in the process.
Suddenly rich, powerful and with considerable clout, these religious charlatans realized the importance of building symbiotic relations with the politically powerful as a way of further boosting their new found status.
Little wonder that Pastor Bempah earnestly strove to be in the good books of one of the country's big political parties. The resulting proximity, emboldened the pastor, pushing him into the realm of absurdity as he continued with his phalanx of 'deathly' predictions.
But his foolishness reached its ugly nadir on Wednesday last week; a segment of the population apparently didn't take kindly to one of his predictions and vented their pent up anger and frustrations on one of his properties, smashing windows and compelling a hapless security man to scurry for dear life.
Pastor Bempah may be a religious freak, a "jackass" and a conman, but he, like all of us, is entitled to freedom of speech as enshrined in our national constitution. Crucially, ours is a religiously tolerant society. Attacking his property was a stain on our democratic bonafides.
Come to think of it, the tragedy of Bempah's saga is that Ghanaians have become so pliant that men in sackcloth can exploit their vulnerabilities with impunity.
In light of the fallout from Mr. Bempah's controversial utterances, some have began to ask if it is about time, he and those like him who enjoy predicting the demise of others should be regulated, or at least reined in.
I am presuming it will be in contravention of our laws were authorities to even contemplate passing legislation to check Bempah and his ilk. Freedom of speech and worship is firmly entrenched in our constitution, which in effect means, Bempah can continue doing what he does best --- engaging in false prophecies without authorities being able to do anything substantial to curtail his activities.
If everything else fails to stop Bempah, then one thing that can be done is to count on our politicians to sever ties with religious figures who have become very comfortable by their proximity to political power.
Bempah, as is well known, is a close confidante of President Nana Akuffo Addo who has made no effort to hide his relations with the highly controversial pastor. Now, however, the time is ripe for Nana to publicly denounce Pastor Bempah and cut his ties with him, if anything at all, for the security of the entire nation.