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Pastor Daniel Obinim and the long arm of the law


Nearly a week after a disturbing video emerged and ultimately went viral, of Ghana’s most controversial pastor, Daniel Obinim brazenly violating the rights of two frightened teenagers, he walked around a free man, with an air of defiance and unbelievable arrogance, daring law enforcement authorities to come get him, and charging his critics to clamp up and mind their own business.

Well, the scales have turned; He is running scared now. Law enforcement authorities have finally mustered the courage to go after him. Police are reportedly hot on his heels, apparently bowing to public pressure….a lawsuit brought against him by a human rights lawyer in Accra, a complaint lodged with the police by the Minister for Gender and Social Protection——- to deal with this miscreant and national embarrassment once and for all.

Pastor Obinim never ceases to amaze. The controversial man of God has been in the news for bizarre behavior, each time violating the law but somehow managing to avoid scrutiny from officials.

This time, however, he has crossed the line; he has angered the entire nation which has seen enough of his shenanigans and silliness, and badly wants the law to collar him, like it would any ordinary Ghanaian.

The other times Pastor Obinim behaved badly…..he stepped on a pregnant woman, and verbally abused some members of his congregation……Ghanaians were appalled but helpless to act. They expected a stern reaction from authorities, however, none was forthcoming.

But when Pastor Obinim who thinks that he is untouchable and believes he is above the law, subjected those two petrified teenagers to a bout of belt-lashing in the full glare of his bemused congregation, Ghanaians said enough was enough, this knucklehead ought to be brought to justice. He has conducted himself in such a way as to merit the negativity, hatred and loathing now being directed his way.

No amount of psycho-analysis can reveal what goes on in the remote recesses of this man’s brain. But this much can be said about him, he has no ounce of shame in him. This, after all, is a man who relentlessly craves the limelight, and would do anything to get a mention on the airwaves and in print. Obinim, is by all accounts, an ego driven, self-aggrandizing maniac who must be cut down to size.

Pastor Obinim’s behavior reflects a troubled soul, but there is more to it than meets the eye. The proliferation of churches and other houses of worship in Ghana, and by extension in Africa, is a worrying phenomenon that began roughly two decades ago. It is hard to provide a rationale for this development; why millions of Africans flock to these churches.

But poverty, experts say, has driven hapless Africans into the hands of men masquerading as men of God, promising them salvation in the afterlife, but who in reality are charlatans, out to make a quick buck.  Obinim belongs to this notorious group.

Pastors of Obinim’s ilk are emboldened to grossly misbehaved by their followers and the lax attitude of law enforcement officials. In his now infamous video, Obinim’s congregation sits back, watches and giggles as their pastor visits physical abuse on the two wayward youngsters.

And it is befuddling that it took authorities a week to threaten Obinim with an arrest if he did not respond to their written request to come in for an interview. Wow. an interview for a man who has clearly violated the law? Only in Ghana.

About six years ago, an African American pastor, Creflo Dollar, an internationally renown preacher with eye popping wealth, boisterous and with a congregation twice the size of Obinim’s,  beat his daughter who subsequently called authorities.

Atlanta police responded and promptly arrested Pastor Dollar. He was handcuffed, taken to the station and booked, and his mugshot, photo plastered all over the evening news. He has been quiet since.

Why didn’t authorities do that to Obinim after his violation was caught on tape? Do we have a different set of laws for people in the preaching business and another for ordinary Ghanaians? Authorities have a lot to explain.






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