PERISCOPE: (Advocate against cheating and of peaceful co-existence) OPEN ACTIVITIES OF MONEY-DOUBLING SHRINES – Are they in Our Interests?
There is no room for doubt that the headline for this commentary is debatable. Money is an important medium of exchange. With it, we can get whatever we wish for. Since man’s needs are limitless, there is always the urge for us to strive, at all costs, to get money to meet such needs as and when they arise.
While some people will not mind using unacceptable means to acquire riches such as armed robbery, confidence-trickstering, murder, corruption, etc, others shed gallons of sweat in accordance with the biblical injunction to man to “eat by the sweat of thy brow” (Genesis 3:19) to make money.
Apart from the natural urge to find money to meet our needs, there is another strong reason why some people strive to also get money. In our society, rich people are highly respected irrespective of the fact that some of them use dubious means to get rich.
Some of them flaunt their wealth to the extent that poor people feel miserable and curse the day they were born! “Look, what do you mean? I can look after you and the whole of your family members!” That is the usual song sung by Mr. Untold Wealth.
Yes, rich people always get what they want. A story is told of a very rich, high class woman. For some reasons, she chose to travel by a State Transport bus. There was only one seat left. A young “simple” man bought his ticket for the seat. Just then, the rich woman arrived. She knew the bus was full and even was about to take off.
She dashed to the office of the ticket seller. Within some minutes she came out with smiles flooding her face. She had obviously done something. This was confirmed when the ticket officials pleaded “humbly to the young man to vacate his seat for the “Lady of the World”, with the pathological lie that “she bought an advance ticket, but only that she was a little late in coming.” Yes, “money dey talk.”
They assured the young man that he would be the first passenger to board the next available bus. With such humiliating treatment of the poor by those blessed with riches, many people would be tempted to seek greener pastures, either genuinely or fraudulently.
Now our television screens are awash with advertisements of activities of money-doubling shrines. The owners compete among themselves to let viewers be aware of their ability to make willing clients rich overnight.
Formerly, these shrines were operating clandestinely for reasons best known to them alone. However, currently, the owners boldly advertise their spiritual powers in doubling money on the TV screens as earlier stated. What is the reason for this? Formerly, did they not have licences to operate openly? Or was it that many people did not know of their existence?
Similarly, was it that people were not interested in their spiritual activities altogether, but now they have been convinced of the shrines’ prowess? Whatever is the reason for the upsurge of the money-doubling activities, the fact remains that such a situation is “not in the interest of society” as some elderly colleagues of mine think.
According to them, even though Ghana is a country of “many freedoms”, some of these freedoms, such as the issue on the radar screen of PERISCOPE are not in the interest of society, especially, those in the youthful bracket.
The many advertisements depicting the competencies of the operators of money-doubling shrines can easily convince young people to patronize the shrines and go STRICTLY by the weird institutions attached to the move, sometimes, to their doors.
Interestingly, the advertisements do not include these weird institutions, but certainly, the gods are not Father Christmas to dole out such huge sums of currency notes without any strings attached. Many reported cases of ritual murders may be the outcome of some of the strange strings attached to the acquisition of such juju wealth.
Even though I have no proof for such weird occurrences, at least, a weekly “My Joy” reported in its Edition V. 2, No. 74, 2020 that a young rich man died at Alajo, a suburban area in Accra. When the family members opened his room to take inventory of his possession, his bed had turned into dead snakes! It was obvious that the rich young man’s wealth had some strings attached. He might have breached some of the strange and hard instructions attached to the acquisition of such wealth.
I am not trying to discredit the money-doubling shrines. It is business they are doing and so, certainly, they must have been issued with a licence by the authorities. Normally, such licence is issued with some specific instructions or rules attached. My worry and perhaps , the worries of others, are that these regular adverts on the TV screens depicting the powers of the shrines in money-doubling are capable of weaning the youth, especially off education and the efforts of using their God-given talents to work and build decent nests.
Nobody should be surprised, should such adverts persist, if some primary school pupils steal their parents’ money to get it doubled at a money-doubling shrine!
While the owners of the money-doubling shrines pursue their legitimate businesses with official licence, no doubt, the authorities should, on their part, take measures to improve the living standards of the ruled. This will enable people to be so self-sufficient that they will not be tempted to succumb to some weird means to acquire wealth.
Ghana obtained nationhood sixty-four years ago, but it is still stuck in the quicksand of poverty. This has been the case, because some of our politicians, who have the country at heart, and thus straining every nerve to put the country back to normal life of patriotism, prosperity, peace and tranquility. This will, in turn, enable the people to feel satisfied to work and finally bow out of existence in dignity.
It is such crab-like politicians who behave like a dog in a manger. They can’t do anything for their countries but refuse to accept the fact and step aside to allow other competent rulers to save the people from poverty. Such incompetent politicians may be rich to the brim, but they shamelessly, use their wealth to destabilize their countries.
The authorities must step in to prevent the country from being turned into a money-doubling country with the poor being unwilling victims.
The National Commission for Civic Education must step in to let the youth realise that “A little that a righteous man has is better than the riches of many wicked” (Psalm 37:16).
To the rich, Proverbs 19:17 says “he that has pity on the poor lends unto the Lord and that which he has given will he pay him again.”
Finally, PERISCOPE passionately appeals to families to help poor members in the family to succeed. This is nobler than the practice of families spending a fortune to give their own relative who dies a “befitting burial”.
Why not give that “fortune” to them to improve their lot while alive? For, as it is usually the case, it is abject poverty which kills some of them.
By GODFRIED K. ARHIN-KUMI
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect The Chronicle’s stance.