What nonsense is the National Cathedral!

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

Mon, 9 Aug 2021 Source: Sampson Boamah

Folks, this write-up is on a sensitive issue that has generated a lot of controversy in the last couple of days causing many concerned citizens to speak against its irrelevance. This article focuses on the national cathedral which the president is bent on building for the country even though Ghanaians have not demonstrated any need for this monument at this crucial time when our country is plagued with so many problems.

It is absolutely preposterous for a country like Ghana to wake up and think about building a national monument for God. Are we serious as a country? The thoughtlessness and gullibility of building a cathedral for God when we have pressing issues demanding our attention and positive energy are mind-boggling.

To think God needs a cathedral to live in is absurd if not insane.

The building of a national cathedral is a non-starter, and ought not to have been brought out in the first place. Ghana is not a Christian country or a religious state, thus our enviable peace does not exist on Ghanaians being religious or Christians.

Many readers may disagree with my strong opposition to this so-called sanctuary which is not even sanctioned by God but because of stiff-necked people as leaders not willing to accept and listen to citizens but rather remain defiant in their quest to building an edifice for God

It will be recalled back in 2017 after president Akufo-Addo was sworn in as president that during his first Independence Day anniversary speech, he made mentioned he had cut the sod for the construction of a 5,000-seater national cathedral which will see to it that all state functions are conducted there including the swearing-in of presidents. The announcement was greeted with so many mixed feelings as many expressed their displeasure about this move.

Many were the promises of President Akufo-Addo prior to the 2016 election of which the national cathedral did not feature. He not being able to even fulfill 50% of those promises during his first term is disappointing. It, therefore, leaves one wondering how and where the bogus idea of building a cathedral came from.

A plethora of problems confront us as a country that needs serious attention, and the yet-to-be-constructed national cathedral is never one of them. Many youths of this country have completed tertiary education and are wandering in the country without finding their fate yet there is no conscious effort by the government to help solve this menace which is a threat to our national security.

Can the government tell us how many unemployed graduates have been employed ever since it assumed office?

It is difficult for many to make ends meet yet we are determined in spending over 100 million dollars to construct an edifice for God. Where lies our conscience?

A visit to the rural communities and the hinterlands will reveal what vulnerable men and women go through every day. They ply potholes for roads, making it difficult for them to commute into the urban and semi-urban areas of the country. They drink mud as water mainly because they have leaders who think about their selfish interests at their expense

Children sitting under trees when they go to school, children not finding furniture to sit on to write their notes are not pressing issues for the president and the churches to find solutions but rather a cathedral? Lord have mercy!

Just look at how weak our health system is! In a space of just one year look at how COVID-19 has exposed us as a country. Our health system is on its knees, yet we want to spend over 100 million dollars to build a house for God. The issue of no bed syndrome causing so many deaths has not been tackled and yet we remain resolute in our quest to building a cathedral.

Recently, the Finance Minister Mr. Ken Ofori Atta who seems to champion the agenda of his uncle the President when he contracted the deadly COVID-19 had to be flown out to the United States of America for treatment yet, such a person dares to say we will spend over 100 million dollars to build a cathedral for God, which God himself is not even interested in.

The same Ken Ofori Atta during the mid-year budget review to parliament a few days ago said that there is an initiative to mobilize about 1 million Ghanaians who will donate 100 Ghana cedis every month towards the completion of the building. This is particularly shocking to hear especially from a man who had just returned from America from medical treatment.

He has got the impetus to make that statement. Just imagine what we can use 100 million dollars to do! If we can mobilize people to donate money, why should it be for the building of a national cathedral? Why not mobilize such an amount to fix the broken economy or improve our health or education system?

The shambolic nature in which this country is being governed by these clueless people has reached its apex and it has become very imperative on concerned citizens like us to come out of our shelves and speak against this evil agenda.

In the case of Ken Ofori Atta, he can go out of the country to seek medical treatment but what aches the hearts of many Ghanaians is the poor woman in a neglected community who has not got such capacity to fly her son or daughter outside the country he or she falls prey to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are gradually building a very destructive country and if we do not speak up to condemn this devilish move, posterity will judge us badly.

The most annoying thing is the siting of the proposed cathedral. How can you demolish residences of the Justices of the Superior Courts of Judicature and make available funds for them to rent places as their homes? Give them money to go and rent another house? Robbing Peter to pay Paul?

Once again, I ask where is our conscience? Where has our reasoning ability gone to? In any case, is it compulsory to build this cathedral at the national capital or the center of the city? Wouldn’t it have been prudent if the cathedral was sited at another location outside the proposed area to make the residents in those communities also see good things if only this is a prudent thing to go by in the first place? The monthly rents of these Justices of the Superior Courts of Judicature span over 10 thousand dollars. Why do we want to always waste taxpayers’ money?

Those who have followed my writings for the past 3 years would recall that somewhere on 31st August 2018, I published an article on this same national cathedral which was dubbed “Why waste taxpayers money on a national cathedral” which was published on the Modern Ghana website. In that piece, I spoke vehemently against the idea and the construction which was about to begin. At the time I thought the government would listen to the views of Ghanaians and reconsider its position on it, but it looks as if we have an intransigent government who does not want to listen to anything from anybody, not even the people who brought the government to power.

A look at the problems that bedevil this country reveals that a national cathedral is not one of them and can never be one of them. Do you want a place to perform state functions? What of Accra Sports stadium, Independence Square, or the Conference Centre? What of the other big areas where they hold big rallies and other events, can’t we worship God or hold events there?

I thought in a democracy whenever a government wants to bring up something they seek the opinion of the populace who brought them to power and take their views before they proceed on their agenda. This is so different under this government such that the government does not even care about the feelings of the ordinary person in the country and has developed a dead-goat-syndrome kind of attitude. It's rather unfortunate this is happening under our so-called enviable democracy.

You may think the writer of this article is a devil and that is why he has used some unpalatable words and has been very hard on the matter, yes! I would rather be an agent of the devil than become a devilish saint to support this hellish idea of a national cathedral. We build a house for God and the children of God wallow in abject poverty.

Why do we want to force ourselves to become enemies to God? God’s children in Ghana are struggling to make ends meet each day. They are struggling to survive under these turbulent times, they do not have good roads and hospitals, yet our leaders want to spend over 100 million dollars to build a monument for God. God is pissed and his anger will turn upon us soon!

Why spend over 100 million dollars to build a national cathedral at a time the country is trying to find its feet during this economic hardship under Akufo-Addo. We have not found our feet since the outbreak of COVID-19. Prices of goods and services are increasing each passing day. Everything seems not to work but we want to build a sanctuary for God. We are a joke country! We must have lost our sense of reasoning. We make God weep and sometimes regrets creating us.

Because this agenda seems to favor the Christian Council, the Ghana Pentecostal Council, and charismatic churches, they have remained mute on this sensitive matter and are in support of this senseless agenda of building a cathedral for God. I will use this medium to appeal to them including the National House of Chiefs, the Civil Society Organizations, and all well-meaning Ghanaians to condemn and call the president to order for him to terminate this evil project.

In conclusion I state that, this country called Ghana does not belong to any religious sect or subscribe to any religious ideology. We have lived in peace and unity not just because of our religion but because we see ourselves as human beings. We cannot fool ourselves into believing that we are building this monument to please God. No! if we have ever thought so then we make a mockery of ourselves. Where is the Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Paris?

If you don’t know, Ivory Coast had a replica of the Cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris but what happened in 2010 and 2011? A cathedral cannot save us. Our leaders should wise up and do what is necessary at the right time. We do not need a cathedral before we can worship God.

Ghana must work again, Ghana will work again, "YOUNG POSITIVIST", a concerned citizen of Ghana.

Columnist: Sampson Boamah