A National Organiser hopeful of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Henry Osei, has lashed out on the Akufo-Addo government over the construction of the National Cathedral.
Speaking on Inside Politics on Power FM, Osei-Akoto observed that the cathedral was being built on the foundation of lies, and made reference to the funds that have been pushed into the project from the national purse.
Government has come under attack by some Ghanaians and civil society organisations following revelations that nearly GH¢ 200 million of taxpayers’ money has so far been spent on the National Cathedral project.
He noted that there are many challenges confronting Ghanaians which need urgent attention but the Akufo-Addo administration has neglected the plights of the citizens and channeling the scarce resources into building a national cathedral which is his personal promise to God.
To him, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta acted illegallymust be brought to book.
“Ken Ofori-Atta must be prosecuted. The documents that have come out indicate that he has pumped tax payers monies into the project,” Osei Akoto stated.
Suspicions And Resignation
The founder of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC), Dr Mensa Otabil, who was part of the Board of Trustees for the National Cathedral has reportedly resigned.
Reports state that the revered theologian exited the Board because some of the transactions were not made clear to them, raising eye brows.
Although the renowned preacher has not come public about exiting the board of the controversial project, however, checks on the National Cathedral’s website on Wednesday, June 15, confirmed he is no longer part of the Trustees
Dr Otabil was on the Board with the Anglican Archbishop Emeritus, Most Rev. Bishop Justice Ofei Akrofi ; Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church, Most Rev T. K. Awotwi Pratt, and the former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Rt. Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Martey who was a fierce critic of the erstwhile Mahama administration.
The other members are Rev Prof Cephas Omenyo, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church; Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams, Presiding Archbishop and General Overseer of Action Chapel International; Rev Dr Joyce Aryee, Executive Director, Salt and Light Ministries; Bishop Dag Heward-Mills, Presiding Bishop of Lighthouse Group of Churches; Rev Eastwood Anaba, the founder and President of Eastwood Anaba Ministries; Rev Victor Kusi-Boateng, founder of Power Chapel Worldwide, and Rev Dr Frimpong Manso, General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God.
The Board of Trustees is chaired by a former Chairman of the Church of Pentecost, Apostle Prof. Opoku Onyinah while the Metropolitan Catholic Archbishop of Cape Coast, Archbishop Charles Palmer-Buckle is the Vice Chairman.
The Akufo-Addo government has been accused by the Minority of illegally using state funds to support the project.
The MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, earlier revealed the news of Otabil’s exit on Sunday, June 12 on JoyNews.
Mr Ablakwa alleged that the desertion by the theologian is due to the illegality being perpetrated by the Akufo-Addo government with respect to the project.
“The whole year, he has not attended any of their meetings. It is not clear what his intention was, but he has given indication that all is not well,” he told host Emefa Apawu.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has said the National Cathedral project will rake in more revenue for the state upon completion.
Speaking on GTV’s current affairs show Talking Point on Sunday, 12 June, 2022, Mr Ofori-Atta said once completed and fully operational, the Cathedral was projected to raise at least US$1.8 billion within the first five years of operation.
“With a conservative estimate of 300,000 to 400,000 attendees per year, we expect the project to bring in at least $1.8 billion over five years,” the minister said.
Ofori-Atta also said a small portion of the national purse is being to fund the project.
“Government has spent about GH¢ 30 billion in terms of our expenditure, I think this year, we’ve spent at least GH¢ 25 million on the National Cathedral, which is one-thousandth [of the budget],” Ofori-Atta said on GTV.
As a Finance Minister, Mr Ofori-Atta said the Akufo-Addo government is not focused on just the economic benefits of the project but is committed to building “a righteous state in which the Lord promises.”
But Osei Akoto, the 2020 NDC Parliamentary Candidate for Oforikrom Consituency in the Ashanti Region, contended that once the project was declared as president Akufo-Addo’s personal project, state funds must not be used to construct it.
“Ofori-Atta did not go to Parliament for any approval of state funds to build the National Cathedral and that is unlawful,” he added.