by;brightwebtv/nana asare barimah
Former General Secretary of the Christian Council Of Ghana, Rev. Dr. Opuni Frimpong has suggested that churches must bear the financial obligations of the national cathedral.
According to him, the national cathedral will be a symbol of Christian unity when completed.
Pledge To God
The building of the Cathedral is in fulfilment of a pledge President Akufo-Addo revealed he made to God before winning the 2016 elections.
Already, the government has demolished all structures located on the proposed site to construct the National Cathedral at Ridge in Accra, and work is progressing.
It is also scheduled to be commissioned on March 6, 2024.
The 5,000-seater auditorium project will also bequeath to the country a gracious national park for all Ghanaians, bring new skills, technology and jobs to the country and act as a beacon to national, regional and international tourists.
In 2019, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, said the construction of the National Cathedral is estimated to cost over $100 million. It has since been amended to $340 million.
Controversy over the construction of a National Cathedral was ignited this week following certain disclosures by both senior government officials and leading opposition figures.
Nearly GH¢ 200 million of taxpayers’ money has so far been spent on the National Cathedral project.
The Finance Minister revealed that just a little portion of government’s annual budget has been spent on the National Cathedral.
Speaking on the state broadcaster, GTV on Sunday, Mr Ofori-Atta described the project as a righteous one that is key to national transformation and spirituality.
Lack of Forthrightness
The Ranking Member on Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa says the modus operandi of government in its quest to construct the National Cathedral is questionable.
According to him, “the whole arrangement, the whole setup is just deeply embedded in illegality and lack of forthrightness.”
Perhaps it is in this light that Rev Opuni Frimpong, who is currently the Convener for Christian Advocacy of Africa, told Okay Fm‘s Ade Akye Abia morning show that though the building of the cathedral has been a promise of a government, it will serve Christians right to build the cathedral for God and further prevent ongoing discussions about the financing of the project.
Moreso, he added, it will also prevent further discussions on whether or not if another government should use tax payers money to build a shrine or a mosque depending on his religious belief.
“There are different religious bodies in this country, there are Buddhist, there are Muslims and even traditional worshippers. so if a government comes to power and say that government does not believe in Christianity but a traditionalist, are we going to allow the government to use the tax payers money to build a national shrine?
“As it is said in the bible, Christians used their money and effort to build temples for God and as the current generation of Christians, we should be willing and committed to build a cathedral for the God we profess to have faith in. Building of a Cathedral should not be the sole responsibility of a government.
“It is true a government or a president promised to build a cathedral for Christians but with the current trend of conversation and analysis concerning the project, it will serve right as diligent Christians to build the cathedral for God through various contributions that will be provided by the churches. We will not offer our Lord what costs us nothing?
Watch Video Below
I’m Redeeming My Pledge To God – Akufo-Addo
President Nana Akufo-Addo has said he promised God a National Cathedral before he became president, and will redeem that pledge.
Launching the National Cathedral Fundraising Campaign on Friday, 28 December 2018 at the forecourt of the State House, Accra, President Akufo-Addo said just as pertained to Solomon’s dedication of the first temple to God as taught by the Bible, he knows that God cannot be contained in a physical edifice.
“Rather, and again like Solomon on that occasion, the building of the National Cathedral is to serve as a gesture of thanksgiving to God for his blessings, favour, grace and mercies on our nation, and to give me an opportunity to redeem a pledge I made to Him before I became President,” he said.
The president made a personal contribution of GHS100,000 towards the construction of the edifice at the event.
The National Cathedral, the president explained, is more than just another piece of infrastructure or national monument.