Debate on National Cathedral hots up!

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo left the country last Friday to attend the 5th edition of the Financial Times Africa Summit in London, England.

The Summit was held with the theme ‘Africa Means Business’ and featured “high-profile speakers in business, politics and economics, as well as Heads of State committed to making business central to their development goals”. President Akufo-Addo also held meetings with CEOs of some important global enterprises while in London.

While attending the event in London, he granted the FT an interview wherein he was quizzed on a number of programmes his administration is embarking on and the question of the national cathedral cropped up. The president said it was not only a priority but a ‘priority of priorities’!

Since then the Trades Union Congress has reacted, and its position is not only interesting but also hits on some hard truths. President Akufo-addo rationalised the national cathedral’s construction by saying since 70 percent of Ghanaians are Christian, the cathedral will serve as rallying point to strengthen unity among Ghanaians.

However, the TUC believes an edifice like the cathedral only for Christians will rather divide us, since there are many other faiths Ghanaians adhere to and the bit about strengthening unity is somewhat contradictory, to say the least.

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The TUC listed a number of issues it would consider as priorities and these include the fact that over six million Ghanaians do not have access to clean water; one out of every four Ghanaian children is affected by chronic malnutrition; and anaemia affects 66 percent of young children and 42 percent of women of child-bearing age.

It also listed that only 15 percent of urban residents and 6 percent of rural residents have access to sanitation facilities, and that open defecation is rife even in urban areas…and the list goes on and on. Obviously, determining national priorities could fill volumes of needs since our country is still very much in the grip of underdevelopment and our needs are many.

Let us also take cognisance of the fact Ghana remains a secular state irrespective of the number of Christians professing their faith, or any other religion for that matter. The state remains for all citizens irrespective of faith, colour or creed – and religion is a personal conviction that should not be unduly mixed with the affairs of state.

For the sake of justice, let us not create a wedge that will further divide us. Partisan politics has us divided enough already!

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