President Nana Akufo-Addo has again indicated his resolve to ensure the construction of the National Cathedral.
“…through Christ who strengthens us, the National Cathedral will be built to the glory and honour of God,” he said at the climax of the 125th-anniversary celebration of the Catholic Archdiocese of Accra, on Sunday.
President Akufo-Addo’s latest remarks are likely to infuriate critics who have accused him of pandering the Christian community in Ghana. Critics were also put on edge when the government announced during the 2019 budget statement that it was going to provide the seed capital for the construction of the cathedral.
Though the cost remains unclear, a Former Deputy Minister of Communications, Felix Kwakye Ofosu, has alleged that the National Cathedral will cost the state about $100 million.
A member of the Convention People’s Party’s (CPP), James Kwabena Bomfeh, sued the government over the project, seeking the court’s intervention to halt the construction.
The Supreme Court has set January 16, 2019, to deliver its judgment on this case.
The Akufo-Addo administration envisions the National Cathedral to serve as a national non-denominational Christian worship centre for the country.
President Nana Akufo-Addo cut the sod for the construction of the national cathedral on March 6, 2017, as part of events that marked Ghana’s 60th-anniversary celebration.
The government is to provide 14-acres of public land for the project, while the Christian community and individuals are to fund the construction.
Though reception towards the cathedral from Ghanaians has been mixed, it has been well received by various leaders in the Christian community.
Also speaking at the anniversary, President Akufo-Addo stressed that it was government’s sacred duty to help build in Ghana a society founded on the values of equity and fairness.
“We can only do so through hard work, animated by a sense of enterprise, creativity and innovation, and with a determination to fight corruption in our public life. That is the path that will lead us to the national transformation we desire, and that is the path my government has been treading over the last 22 months,” President Akufo-Addo said.
He also thanked the Catholic Church of Ghana for its service to Ghana over the years.
“The Church survived the yellow fever epidemic of the late 19th century that killed some of its first missionaries, rebuilt its structures after the earthquake of 1939, and has grown to become one of the most important institutions in Ghana, a country which is deeply religious,” President Akufo-Addo added.
“Indeed, the Catholic Church has built many of the institutions of our country, and is on record to be the one single institution, outside of Government, that has built so many healthcare facilities such as hospitals and clinics in Ghana. We treasure very much this partnership between State and Church, and I pray for God’s continuing blessings on this Church.”