The supposed meeting between government and the clergy yesterday hit a snag as the two could not take a decisive resolution on how to proceed with the controversial National Cathedral project although the issue was raised at the breakfast meeting at the Jubilee House—the seat of government.
According to the clergy, the Board of Trustees of the National Cathedral project were yet to meet and come to a consensus on the matter, hence they could not make conclusions at the breakfast meeting.
The meeting became necessary following the loud public outcry over plans to evict some judges from their homes to make way for the construction of the 5,000-seater capacity cathedral.
While some had questioned the relevance of the construction of the cathedral and the government’s involvement in the project, others also interrogated the decision to use a prime area like Ridge in Accra, which is already developed.
But, according to the Vice Chairman of the Association of Charismatic and Christian Churches, Victor Osei, the board of trustees will hold a meeting next week to agree on the way forward.
He said it was inappropriate for the board to make public statements on the matter, especially at a time when public tension on the subject was high.
“Sometimes it is better to let the fire come down before you come out and make certain statements. In the midst of flames, people say a lot of things. If you go to Nigeria, there is a National Cathedral; there is a National Muslim Cathedral. In a lot of countries, these things are there, so I don’t think [in] Ghana [it] is anything strange if people decide to come together to aid government set up a national cathedral,” he said.
While discounting claims that the board had remained silent on the matter, he said it was seriously considering the arguments and will soon take a decision on it.
“The board of trustees is not silent on this issue. You should allow people to say all that they want to say, they should vent out their spleen and then at the end of the day you come out when things are calm and say this is what is going to be done. But in the midst of the discussion, it is absolutely sometimes inappropriate to come out with things… I believe that the board will come together,” he said.
The board is expected to meet on Tuesday, 4th September, 2018 with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to take a final decision on the matter.
Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo has highlighted the relevance of such engagements with the clergy, which he said would help him inform them about the intentions of the government while listening to their respective concerns.
“I also felt that on a periodic basis, it will be good for me to meet with you [the clergy] so that we can also deal with matters that are of concern to you and matters that are of concern to me as the head of government. I’m hoping that what we are doing here today is going to be a regular feature of my government, so something like a couple of times in a year we have an opportunity to meet and I will hear your considerations and you will hear the things that are on the heart and minds of government because it is important that from the different angles from which we approach the public interest, we work together,” the President said.
“It doesn’t mean we agree on everything, but it means we have an attitude of cooperation,” President Akufo-Addo added.
Story: Kofi OWUSU TAWIAH
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