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Ending fake election prophecies

As the country’s democracy continues to evolve, a phenomenon which has become very disconcerting is fake prophecies and predictions of election results by some charlatans who parade themselves as prophets. 

They make so-called prophetic declarations on the possible outcome of presidential elections.

These self-styled pastors and prophets take advantage of the high public interest in the general election and high-stake political activities to advance their cause by exploiting the religiosity of the citizenry.

Such political prophecies have become so rampant in recent times that they threaten the very fabric of our democracy.

As the 2024 general election begins to gather momentum, some religious leaders, especially pastors and prophets, will take to their pulpits to declare the outcome of the elections, endorse a candidate or condemn opponents based on their purported revelations from God.

Obviously, these self-acclaimed pastors and prophets base their fake and misleading prophecies on selfish ambitions, partisan interests, financial inducements or personal vendetta.

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It is against this background that the Daily Graphic considers the advice to Ghanaians not to allow themselves to be manipulated by fake prophecies in choosing political leaders as the country prepares towards the 2024 general election a timely one. (See Daily Graphic Tuesday January 30 issue, page 13).

The Rector of the Global Theological Seminary, Rev. Dr Komi A. Hiagbe, in an interview with the Daily Graphic, said those prophecies came from persons who wanted the citizenry to believe that God had chosen certain leaders for the country.

The effect of those prophecies on the nation, the Rector said, was worrying as certain people claiming to be men of God gave contradictory prophecies during elections which sometimes affected the sense of judgement of the congregants in making the right choices.

Some of these prophecies may cause the country to lose competent leaders, as some people were gullible and may take the wrong decisions, the head of the Bible and pastoral training institution of the Global Evangelical Church explained.

The Daily Graphic finds the call by Rev. Dr Hiagbe a good one, with the nation approaching this year's general election.

 The paper adds its voice to this timely call by urging citizens not to be swayed by these so-called prophetic declarations on the possible outcome of the exercise, which turn out to be false.

It is worth mentioning that the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Dr George Akuffo Dampare, has met with church leaders and explained the implications of such acts to them.

He sought the assistance of a legal practitioner, Ace Ankomah, to provide the legal interpretation and the penalty for flouting the law to them.

With all these measures underway, the Daily Graphic believes that citizens must be vigilant and exercise their franchise to the best of their knowledge to elect candidates and leaders who will steer the affairs of the nation to the benefit of all, irrespective of their political, religious and ethnic backgrounds.

We are at a stage where the citizenry must be provided with credible information and not sensational news to enable the average voter to make the right choices in elections.

The Daily Graphic believes that the trend of fake election prophecies could end if all stakeholders in society — religious leaders, civil society groups, media organisations, the police and citizens  — act to stamp it out.

Religious bodies and leaders must speak up against it and denounce publicly those who make such pronouncements.

The Daily Graphic believes if the spiritually mature leaders rebuke such prophecies publicly it will deter the culprits from perpetrating them.

The leaders of the established churches should not be afraid to rebuke such unknown, populist and rent-seeking so-called prophets.

The Daily Graphic also urges the media not to offer their platforms for such fake prophetic declarations.

Similarly, we call on the IGP to activate his initiative that brought an end to the public pronouncements of negative and death prophecies by pastors as this year's elections gather momentum to end fake election prophecies.

Ghana' s democracy has come this far because it was worked on painstakingly by stakeholders and it must be guarded jealously.

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