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Demolishing The National Cathedral

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It is often said that State and Religion must at all times be separated, even though the two intrinsically go hand-in-hand. In Ghana, and in fact in many African countries, religion, culture and morals define us more than our travelling passports.

We believe so much in supernatural intervention that irrespective of our traditional backgrounds, faiths and political affiliations, there is one thing that we all agree can NEVER be corrupted. And that is our moral fibre.

It was as a result of this inherent consensus that we accepted, when President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo suggested the building of a National Cathedral.

Since then, many prominent people had hailed the government and people of Ghana for having mooted the idea, and damned the critics.

Famous art historian, Chika Okeke-Agulu, in an opinion piece for The New York Times, wrote that the concept of a National Cathedral for Ghana “…signals that the country is poised to consolidate the gains of decades of democracy”.

He noted that it would inspire ambitious civic architecture projects across the continent that harnesses the talents of Africa’s emerging artists.

“This Accra commission is not just a recognition of his homeland by Mr. Adjaye’s acclaim. It also signifies that Africa can build a major work by a leading architect at the top of his game.”

Of course President Akufo-Addo also emphasized at the 125th anniversary of the Catholic Archdiocese of Accra that the cathedral was meant for THE GLORY OF GOD.

Even when it was suggested that the country was not ready for the project, great Ghanaian writers like Bernard Asubonteng, dissed the critics, saying: “Pure jealousy or ignorance sometimes underlies many of the average Ghanaian’s never-ending criticisms or opposition to many of the policies or initiatives the government of the day seeks to pursue”.

THE NEW PUBLISHER therefore finds it unbelievable that, after giving out precious land and pulling down dozens of judges’ residences to pave way for the edifice, which was purposed for the glorification of God, we have been caught neck deep in an agenda to ‘poison’ the moral fibre of our society with ‘ungodly’ practices.

This week, it became evident that the Minister of Education, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, actually lied through his teeth when he denied that the ministry had anything like Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) up its sleeves.

He was exposed, not only by an assurance he gave UNESCO in February this year, but also by the pages 11 and 179 of the Teachers’ Resource Pack, which are currently in the homes of over 152,000 teachers.

But beyond Opoku Prempeh’s mea culpa, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, in his 2019 Budget Statement to Parliament, said CSE was already a done deal.

Bullet 369 of the Budget Statement, which had long been approved, reads: “Mr. Speaker, the National Population Council (NPC), in collaboration with OTHER STAKEHOLDERS, developed guidelines on Comprehensive Sexual Education (CSE) for incorporation into the national education curriculum”. Who are the other stakeholders?

While we pity the minister for the ‘mess’ he had found himself in, we think the decision to fall for this STINKING $22million package from Sweden, Ireland and Norway is a slap in our face, vis-a-vis the $100million cathedral effort.

In our view, God will rather dwell in the beautiful hearts of our children than in an edifice molded with immoral hands.

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