National Cathedral Brouhaha: Akufo-Addo Has No Moral Justification
The Caucus for Democratic Governance, Ghana (CDG-GH) has received with shock, the decision by the President, in collaboration with the Christian Council, to build a National Cathedral at this time of total hardship.
According to them, the economy on paper appears to be doing well, in reality Ghanaians are suffering. Prices are going up in all sectors. Over 500,000 fresh graduates are churned out of our Universities, Technical schools and SHS into the job market every year without jobs. Qualified graduates can be found selling dog chains and ice water along the street of most urban cities. Jobless nurses are now forced to be Kayayies, to make ends meet. There is hardship everywhere.
The Caucus for Democratic Governance, Ghana has observed that as a result of bad governance, the President is overseeing a weak cedi, collapse of Banks, chaos in the informal sector with mounting demonstrations by traders and clearing agents. Job losses and unpaid salaries and arreas are causing unrest in the work front; amid wasteful Government expenditure and a plethora of misplaced priorities.
President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s project to build a National Cathedral has been hailed by some religious groups and a section of the public, however, it seems to have ruffled the feathers of a few other interest groups.
The current major opposition to the construction of the landmark that was designed by the Ghanaian architect David Adjaye has been its planned location.
The 14 acres that the magnificent building will occupy is partly the location of the residence of some Appeal Court Judges and other important state institutions.
The cathedral will be an interdenominational Christian cathedral and will be a thanksgiving edifice to God as part of Ghana's 60th-anniversary celebrations, the President has said.
A private citizen, James Bomfeh, is also in court to challenge the constitutionality of state involvement in the erection of the National Cathedral and other religious activities like the organisation of the Hajj for Ghanaian Muslims.
According to Mr Bomfeh, a member of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), the framers of the Constitution strived at fairness for every individual’s religious belief when they stated that the state must leave religious matters to the individual.
The Supreme Court is yet to pronounce judgement on the matter, but the government has already sent quit orders to residents whose homes and properties are situated on the stretch of prime land to be used for the cathedral.
But CDG-GH insist that the inordinate desire of this super incompetent President to build a National Cathedral for whatever reason and prioritising same over all critical national needs is a needless episode. But unfortunately, we all feel too petrified and cowed into fear and docility to call the President to order. The President`s decision to demolish some newly built first class residential properties to make way for his “obsessed” National Cathedral project is bad enough. Before then, the judges are being pushed around into rented properties as temporal shelter. Whilst government sources funds to begin the construction of new bungalows.
A LITTLE GIRL`S QUESTION
A little girl after listening to a heated conversation on the subject matter, asked "....what stops the President from identifying a new site for this cathedral since this will save the country`s hard won taxes." She further tried to know from me, "what are the National problems that this cathedral is set to resolve?" Perhaps the President has answers to these questions.
The reckless intent on demolishing newly built houses which are already occupied is rather mind boggling as it will be a colossal loss. Ironically, the President who is wasting the taxpayers money is the same President who has 111 Ministers and 998 Presidential staffers ; he is also the same President who claims to be protecting the Public Purse.
The building of a Cathedral is indeed a misplaced priority. This is often the causal effect of our poverty, broken economy, unemployment, sicknesses and diseases among others. African young men and women including Ghanaians are drowning in the Mediterranean Sea, in an attempt to flee poverty, while others are kept in concentration camps under inhuman conditions. Instead of solving these problems, the President is building a National Cathedral worth over a billion dollar, as if that is the solution for our problems.
The Christian Council which is part of this plan should know that the tithes and collections of their members are not for National Cathedral, but for the spread of the gospel to villages and hamlets, where satanic idols and fetish shrines are dominating.
(Partly contributed by A.W. Sulleyman-CDG-GH member)
Chief Convener CDG-GH