“National Cathedral, a priority among priorities” – Nana Addo
President Akufo-Addo has mounted a spirited defense of his administration’s decision to facilitate the construction of a national cathedral in the capital, Accra.
Speaking in London, the President said the construction of such an edifice must be regarded as a significant symbol of the ordinary Ghanaian’s life.
The government has announced plans to construct a National Cathedral to serve as a national non-denominational Christian worship center for Ghana.
The government is to provide 14-acres of public land for the project, while the Christian community is to fund the construction of the project.
The decision to build a national cathedral has angered many Ghanaians with some describing it as a waste of public lands and national resources, while others have accused the government of misplaced priorities.
Some judges are to evicted from their homes to pave the way for the construction.
But speaking on the matter for the first after the backlash at an investment forum in London, President Akufo Addo insisted that the cathedral is a priority for the government.
“People will ask if it (national cathedral) is a priority. It is a priority among priorities. We’ll never find enough money to do everything we want to do. But we have to begin, and that’s what we have started.”
President Akufo-Addo further mentioned that the cathedral when built would serve as a symbolic monument that will unify the citizenry in a Christ-like manner.
“70 percent of the population is Christian. This is the focus that strengthens the community. We find ourselves in need of a symbol that the Ghanaian nation can rally behind. We see elsewhere in the huge world monuments, and we are going to find the means to sort it out.”
National Cathedral a great idea, perfect location – Gabby
Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, one of the bigwigs in the NPP and founder of Pro-NPP policy think tank, the Danquah Institute, has maintained nothing will stop the government from constructing the cathedral.
“The Cathedral is a great idea. The location is perfect. The means of funding, not with public funds, is refreshing. The Cathedral must be built. The judges will be housed and even more recently”.
‘Build national shrine for traditionalists, a mosque for Muslims too’ – Suhuyini
Meanwhile, National Democratic Congress [NDC] Member of Parliament for Tamale North, Alhassan Suhuyini, wants the Akufo-Addo government to facilitate the construction of a national center of worship for other religious groups in the country.
“If that’s government’s decision and they find it important, I have nothing against it. But you see, this is not a decision by the Christian community. It is a decision of the government to give them a national cathedral. Maybe when they finish, they will give us too a national mosque, and they will give the traditional believers a national shrine too.”
The National Cathedral
President Nana Akufo-Addo in 2017 cut the sod for the construction of the cathedral.
Some nine justices of the Court of Appeal as well as other judicial staff occupying bungalows around the site earmarked for the project, have been asked to vacate to make way for the construction of the 5,000-seater capacity facility.
They are to move into temporary residential buildings pending the construction of some 21 new bungalows on the Second Circular Road – Cantonments in Accra.
These will be completed and handed over by January 2020.
National Cathedral much more than a church – David Adjaye
Meanwhile, the designer of the National Cathedral, David Adjaye, has said he expects the National Cathedral to embody much more than a place of Christian worship.
The renowned architect said the cathedral has the potential to be a multi-faith edifice.
“The building, in thinking about it is not just about making a church. It is really a State space that can celebrate spiritual things and can be multi-faith… it can be absolutely about expressing the spirituality of the nation,” he said on Citi TV’s Face to Face.