Yesterday, the forecourt of the Flagstaff played host to the fundraising event for the controversial and much debated National Cathedral project. I saw the likes of Hollywood star Idris Elba and British model Naomi Campbell gracing the occasion. And from all indications, the construction is set to receive huge financial support — even from the president himself following his pledge of GH¢100,000.
President Akufo-Addo attended the fundraising dinner as special guest of honour along with other dignitaries such as the First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, the Vice President, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and his wife Samira, the Speaker of Parliament, Prof Aaron Mike Ocquaye, the Chief Justice, Ms Sophia Akuffo and former President Jerry John Rawlings.
Speaking at the event, the President pledged GH¢100,000 from his personal resources towards the construction of the proposed National Cathedral. According to him, the cathedral is more than just an edifice and will serve as a multi-purpose structure for all Christians. “Rather, and again like Solomon on that occasion, the building of the National Cathedral is to serve as a gesture of thanksgiving to God for his blessings, favour, grace and mercies on our nation, and to give me an opportunity to redeem a pledge I made to Him before I became President,” Nana Addo said.
He added, “It will provide us with an avenue to call the nation to prayer, to worship, to celebrate, and to mourn. It will house a Bible Museum, and will be an iconic infrastructure for national, regional and international pilgrimage and tourism. It will create jobs, and serve as a catalyst for technology and skills transfer into our country.”
Meanwhile, there were also a couple of other positive pledges towards the project. Two people pledged GH¢1million each towards the project whilst another pledged US$50,000. Others also matched the President’s pledge of GH¢100,000, in what was a very successful fundraising dinner. A year ago, government revealed plans to construct a National Cathedral to serve as a national non-denominational Christian worship center.
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However, the decision has been widely criticised by a section of Ghanaians who believe it’s a misplaced priority. There were also concerns raised after it emerged that some 14 judges have to be evacuated from their homes to make way for the construction of the cathedral.
President Akufo-Addo has, however, defended his administration’s decision to go ahead with the project despite the criticisms. To this end, the President described the construction of the National Cathedral as “a priority among priorities”
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