Clarify National Cathedral ownership - Opuni-Frimpong tells govt
A former General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana, Rev. Dr Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong, has called on the government to clarify the ownership of the National Cathedral.
He said the original conversation around the building of the cathedral seemed to have changed somewhere along the line.
Rev. Dr Opuni-Frimpong explained that during the initial discussions, consultations and deliberations on the cathedral, it was clear that it would be built by churches with government merely facilitating the process, including providing the initial seed money for the commencement of the project.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic on issues arising from the building of the cathedral, Rev. Dr Opuni-Frimpong said when the North Tongu Member of Parliament, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, started releasing information on the project, it suggested a remarkable change in the narrative.
He said it was at that point that some government officials and party communicators "started changing the narrative that it is not churches that are building the cathedral but that it is government".
The clergyman said he had since wished for an official position from government to clarify the position as to whether it was churches that were still building the cathedral with government facilitating, or that it was the government that was building it and calling on the Christian community to support.
Rev. Dr Opuni-Frimpong said he was among those who led in media discussions to explain to Ghanaians that the cathedral would be built by churches with government facilitating the project.
"I must say that personally, I was enthused about it because I thought it was going to unite churches in Ghana in the various Christian block," he stated.
"I don't get it clear. Initially, we were certain in our minds that churches were building it, with government facilitating the construction,” he said.
He said it was important that someone made a categorical statement that it was a government project and churches could support it with prayers.
"I pray and hope that the original conversation should be revisited,” he added.
He expressed the hope that such an edifice could unite the Christian community and deepen the faith of Christians in the country.
He, therefore, urged the government to go back to the drawing board regarding the building of the cathedral.
He said with the project being a cathedral — something that churches would benefit from — it was important that government left it in the hands of the churches, “and it would be done”.
Rev. Dr Opuni-Frimpong cautioned Christian leaders and the Christian community to tread cautiously, saying if it was established that it was a government project, "we must be careful with the comments we make”.
"In that case, it would be like we are assuming too much, and we must be very careful with our choice of words.
"So, churches must also be careful with something that is being discussed at the governmental level in government business," he advised.
He explained that it was a different ball game when it came to issues involving the government and those of the church.
He said at a point, some of the board members behaved as though they were in their churches and calling for reports from their dioceses or parishioners.
He pointed out that the way government business functioned was different from that of churches.
Rev. Dr Opuni-Frimpong added that before government information was released, the releasing officer must have had express permission from his or her superiors.