Address Pastor Mensa Otabil With Circumspection In Light Of Capital Bank’s Collapse

There seem to be a lot of public uproar on the recent news of 'rot' in the banking industry. The collapse of some giant indigenous banks has shaken the sector and raised serious concerns.

I write, not as an authority in the financial sector, rather as an educated, enlightened young Ghanaian having his country at heart. These recent developments has awakened some of us to develop an inclination towards the financial systems and structures laid in the country.

Personally, powerful light thrown at Capital Bank's saga seem to have caught my attention the most. I have keenly followed media engagement on the entire issue.

My drive to write and come to public from obscurity was born after perusing Chris Vincent’s write-up on the ugly mismanagement of Capital Bank led by Pastor Mensa Otabil.

Reading Chris' argument made me to feel that at last, there are some level-headed Ghanaians who resist to kowtow to religious indoctrination. It seems religious leaders are overrated and undeservingly revered and in addition cannot be
subjected to scrutiny or criticism.

So, I felt a bold man has stepped out to speak against the perhaps, most influential religious leader in the country and on the continent. I patiently followed his argument. They were sensible deductions but baseless claims.

However, I still gave him a thumbs-up for such bravado and education. The thoughts that started running through my head was, could Pastor Mensa Otabil - an epitome of wisdom, courage and character deign to misconduct himself in such a manner? Especially, having heard him preach, saying "Do not follow money, rather a calling, for money will bring you lots of sorrows, if it is your main goal in life".

I, then, hoped to read a reply from the pastor responding to the issue to clear the doubts of his wide listenership and readership. At last, he replied. His reply was clearly aimed at attacking the issue, making clear the exact role he played at the bank. He, in addition, stated to have submitted himself to the ongoing investigation by the EOCO et al.

Honestly, I was compelled to salute "His righteousness" for his decorum and collectedness in light of the developments and criticisms. I was glad because he responded sensibly and coherently without sentiments. Some financial
experts have rebuttalled his claim of holding a non-executive role as a board chairman to be a baseless argument to absolve him of blame and responsibility.

As an intellectual who upholds logical thinking and inductive reasoning, I opt to stand in the middle and form an unbiased perspective of the situation, making constructive arguments to help the ordinary Ghanaian understand and have a true
picture of the situation.

It is, undoubtedly, true that a board chairman together with his board has the responsibility of the directive role of the institution. Ergo, the need to interrogate and investigate Pastor Otabil.

However, analysis of the situation in relation to his
circumstance presents an otherwise perspective. This is a man who runs a Church-ministry full time and only invested hugely in the bank to see it develop into a multi-national corporation, especially, since he has been an advocate of
possibility thinking, inspiring millions of Africans to change their mindset and adapt a can-do spirit. It is not unknown that pastor do not have expertise in finance.

Thus, the presumption that he was elected Board Chairman due to his exemplary leadership, deep understanding of life, wise counsel and the courage to dare big things and, probably his huge share in the company. To call him incompetent
serves no purpose because he has no technical know-how in that field and also the fact that he is just a human and not beyond fallibility.

The most important consideration should be, what was his intentions? Did the man of God connive with the CEO to deploy resources and misappropriate funds to serve their personal interest?

These questions and many more are tools to effectively probe the issue to  ascertain if he is culpable.

So, I come back to Chris Vincent. I was totally disappointed at Chris - a man whom I considered courageous and intelligent reply Pastor Otabil's response, using words such as ‘gibberish’ in reference to the scholar and ‘foolish’ for his followers.

It seems clear that Vincent's intentions is not to serve the interest of the Ghanaian populace but rather to capitalize on this issue to attack Pastor Mensah Otabil's personality with impunity.

I, herewith, urge Chris Vincent and his like-minded writers to be objective and do away with emotionalism, sentimentalism and vulgarism. This will only portray them as haters of the man of God. In the interim, investigations are underway and
in due time culpable fellows will be convicted and prosecuted. Hence, let us allow due process to work.

Thank you.
Yours faithfully,

Sheriff Asiedu Ampem Alhassan.
(BSc Chemistry, MSc Economics, IELTS tutor)
E-mail: [email protected]