Private legal practitioner, Ace Ankomah, has backed the construction of a National Cathedral in Accra, and expressed befuddlement about critics who argue that the edifice should be built elsewhere other than the prime area allocated for it within the Ridge enclave.
According to him, most of the best schools and hospitals in Ghana were built by churches, hence, nothing wrong with building a cathedral “to thank our God for placing us on this land.”
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Tuesday, 6 March 2018 unveiled the design and architecture of the National Cathedral at a brief ceremony at the Accra International Conference Centre.
It would house impressive chapels and baptistery, a 5,000-capacity auditorium, grand central hall, music school, choir rehearsal and multi-use spaces, an art gallery and a shop.
The President said the edifice was going to be an iconic centre for thanksgiving and to worship God for His mercies.
Making that a reality, however, requires the pulling down of some state institutions including bungalows housing 10 Court of Appeal judges, some of which were built five years ago.
This has attracted mixed reactions among Ghanaians.
For instance, Prof Kwaku Asare, a United States-based Ghanaian professor, wrote on Facebook that: “Five Years Ago: The Judicial service has built 10 six-bedroom bungalows to house Court of Appeal Judges. Now: The 10 six-bedroom bungalows are being demolished to make way for a national cathedral. But not to worry: The Government has rented alternative expensive bungalows for the Judges to relocate temporarily while it begins construction of over twenty new bungalows on a different land in replacement for what it is going to be destroyed to make way for the cathedral.
“Da Yie!” Can we not get a beautiful land around Aburi and build this National Cathedral there?”
Similarly, Cultural Anthropologist Osofo Kofitse-Ahadzi, has said, the construction of the Cathedral is a useless exercise and a waste of resources.
Speaking on this matter on Ghana Yensom on Accra 100.5FM hosted by Chief Jerry Forson on Monday, 27 August 2018, Osofo Kofitse-Ahadzi, said: “I feel sad that this government is jumping from one controversy to the other. What is the use of the cathedral? What have we not seen in this country with the work in those so-called cathedrals? This is a useless exercise and a diversionary exercise.
“Who told them that God resides in a cathedral? After all, don’t they do evil in those cathedrals? In their churches what don’t we see them do? Those so-called men of God are men of their own gods, they go in for devilish energies to bamboozle the people.
“This is the height of confusion, incompetence, inability to govern and you must go because you can’t govern. Why do you have to be wasting our ears?”
But Mr Ankomah, while speaking at a forum in Accra recently, said: “When people talk about the church and that the church does not deserve land in Accra to build a cathedral that sits only 5 thousand people and that they should find someplace around motorway for them, it is as if we are some cursed lepers.
“They forget that the vast majority of the best schools in Ghana were built by the church. Let us name the so-called best schools: Mfantsipim, Wesley Girls, St. Peters.
“Some of the best hospitals have been built by missions, and all we want is land on which we will build, as our thanks to our God, for placing us on this land and they say: ‘take them to somewhere, Dodowa, take them somewhere’. They should bring them to my hometown, Achiase, and we will welcome you.”