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Oh, thy visionless generation of little faith making noise over the proposed construction of a National Cathedral

National Cathedral Akufo Addo President Akufo-Addo says his government will build a National Cathedral

Tue, 10 Aug 2021 Source: Rockson Adofo

Much as I have not taken any stance on whether for or against the construction of a national cathedral as proposed by His Excellency the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, I find the ongoing politicization of, and brouhaha over, the issue, amazing.

Many a political opponent, journalist, or ordinary person on the street, has expressed their candid anti-cathedral view on the construction of the envisaged national cathedral.

To many a supposedly more intelligent Ghanaian, the construction of a national cathedral does not come into the equation when viewed in terms of the critical needs of Ghanaians, according to our scale of preference or prioritization.

Yes, human wants are many but the means to satisfy them is limited. Ghanaians need better schools, good roads, good hospitals, potable water, cheap accommodation, better pay, job for the unemployed, and you just name it, they need them.

Do we have to wait for one area of our urgent needs to be fully satisfied before we tackle another? I want the cleverest Ghanaians to answer me. I think the realization of some needs can be aimed at concurrently.

In some countries, e.g. France, Italy, and Britain, their cathedrals have more or less become tourist attractions to yield income for the nation. In Paris, they have ten most beautiful churches and cathedrals that are highly visited by tourists. Two of them are the Notre-Dame de Paris and the Sacré-Cœur Basilica in Paris 18.

I can bear witness to how Sacré-Cœur Basilica is visited by thousands of people a day, especially during the summertime. Everything around the area sells like a hot cake. Again, many tourists do visit St Paul’s Cathedral in London. I am very familiar with these places.

Do we not know that those visiting the mentioned cities or countries having on their sightseeing sites the cathedrals, do bring money to the visiting nations through the hotels they will sleep in, food they will buy to eat, items or artefacts they will buy from and around the cathedral grounds?

Why can’t Ghanaians, the freebies-seekers awash in corruption, have at least some foresight that when the cathedral is completed, it can with the passage of time yield income to offset its cost in the long term? Why are we always negative thinkers or negative-minded with can’t-do attitude?

Let me tell you this true story? When the late Dr. Kwame Nkrumah decided to construct the Akosombo Dam, some then political opponents raised some objection to it. When he decided to build the Tema Motorway, there were still some people to raise objection to it.

However, as there is an exception to every rule, and in this case, “it is not always that the majority is right”, contrary to the actual norm of “the majority carries the vote”, Dr. Nkrumah pursued his vision without yielding into the myopia of the majority.

Now, you and I will bear witness to how the Akosombo Dam and the Tema Motorway have served the country and the people well. But in those days, many a Ghanaian thought there was something much better, more important, and pressing to be constructed with the then limited resources than “wasting” them, they said, on the Akosombo Dam and the Tema Motorway.

The president is not using the nation’s money, thus, taxpayers’ money, to build the cathedral. He is rather appealing for voluntary donations from both Ghanaians and outsiders. He has not made it mandatory for everyone to pay one hundred Cedis (Ghs100).

He is just appealing and suggesting if people could contribute Ghs100 each. One can contribute into the chest for the construction of the cathedral or not. Therefore, why this hullabaloo or politicization of the issue?

Be guided by the Akosombo Dam and the Tema Motorway as well as the benefits accrued to the mentioned countries above, from their cathedrals to make informed decisions. Be visionary!

Columnist: Rockson Adofo