Don’t politicise conversations on national cathedral - Board of Trustees urges citizens
The Board of Trustees of the National Cathedral of Ghana has stressed the need to depoliticise national conversations on the project.
It said it was not asking for discussions that blindly supported the project but discussions which were focused on the contributions of the project to the transformation of the country.
The Executive Director of the National Cathedral of Ghana, Dr Paul Opoku-Mensah, who made the call at a meeting with representatives of political parties in Accra yesterday, therefore, urged such political parties to help change the narrative.
The political parties outside Parliament represented at the meeting were the Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG), Ghana Union Movement (GUM), All People’s Congress (APC), the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), People’s National Convention (PNC) and the Convention People’s Party (CPP).
The parties were said to have written to the board of the cathedral to know at firsthand the state of the national cathedral project.
The meeting between the board of the National Cathedral of Ghana and the political parties outside Parliament served as a platform for the political party representatives to understand the developmental impact of the project.
“We are not asking for discussions that blindly support this project but we are asking for a depoliticised national conversation which also focuses on the contributions of the national cathedral project to the country’s transformation,” Dr Opoku-Mensah emphasised.
The National Cathedral Executive Director said political parties outside Parliament could provide the sanitising and mediating influence that the people so badly and urgently needed in politics in the country.
He stated that the national conversation on the National Cathedral had suffered this fate of being buffeted along the two major political parties with the objective of sensationalising and bastardising the project.
The cathedral was a legacy project as part of the 60th independence anniversary of the country and was supposed to provide a missing link in the country’s architecture by providing a formal place for religious activities of the state.
It is also expected to provide an interdenominational space for worship and serve as a fulcrum for unifying the Christian community and a tribute to religious liberty in the country.
Designed as a home of African Christianity, the cathedral has an auditorium space for 5,000, expandable to 15,000 on key national events which would turn the country into an important religious site for religious pilgrimage and tourism.
Dr Opoku-Mensah said he was hopeful that political parties outside Parliament could be the vehicle that would begin to rationally express and aggregate the diverse potential of the national cathedral.
While debunking the notion that the project had stalled, he said all the initiatives, including the museum and the biblical gardens, had been submitted to Parliament.
Also, he refuted claims that the board was running away from accountability, indicating that CHRAJ was already investigating issues of conflict of interest, as well as the procurement and a financial audit by Deloitte.
“Since January, CHRAJ has been involved in detailed investigation and we have been cooperating,” he emphasised, saying “the audit notwithstanding, I want to state categorically that there is no criminality in this work.”
He added that “we have implemented affairs with integrity, including accounting for all the money from the State to the National Cathedral.
Responding to a question on the resignation of the members of the board, he said in some instances it was as a result of differences in opinions and beliefs, some of which were entrenched.