Just when you thought the country has had it up to the neck with controversies emanating as they are, from Jubilee House, the government trots out yet another controversy to keep tongues wagging. This time the controversy is overly sensitive and chock full of religious overtones.
When President Nana Akuffo Addo won the elections in 2016 he promised his Christian supporters that he was going to build an interdenominational national cathedral. He duly kept his promise. He initiated the process in March by unveiling the design for the Cathedral.
However, in so doing, Mr. Addo only created suspicion and distrust among Ghanaians and an avalanche of questions as to whether it is a brilliant idea ---- to erect a Cathedral to cater to one religious group in a multi-religious nation.
But the fundamental and lingering question on the minds of curious Ghanaians is this: are we as a nation abandoning secularism as outlined in our nation’s constitution and drifting ever so slowly towards being a religious state?
The likelihood of that happening is remote, but Mr. Addo’s determination to please his Christian supporters at the expense of other religions is dangerous and a clear violation of our laws and he should be soundly criticized for his blatant and arrogant behavior.
It is very obvious by the President’s action that he has the country’s priorities all screwed up, wrong. Of what use is a Cathedral to a population that is literally starving and deprived of the basic necessities of life? Crucially, the country’s infrastructure is falling apart and hospitals and schools are in dire need of essentials.
Yet, our president deems it absolutely important to put a premium on a religious structure than address the needs of his citizens? It is just mindboggling.
What is galling about this latest controversy is that the construction of the Cathedral will result in the the demolition of state properties thus laying to waste the Ghanaian taxpayer’s hard earned money.
Apparently, the concept of separation of church and state is lost on the president and his cohorts who helped him come up with this patently ridiculous idea.
Sooner or later, other religious denominations will begin clamoring for their own places of worship to be financed and paid for by the Ghanaian government. What then will be the government’s response? Cater to all of them? Of course, that will be outrageous and utterly expensive.
Mr. Addo has waded into dangerous territory; religion is something politicians should keep at arm’s length. Somebody ought to tell Mr. Addo to stop mixing religion with politics, lest he gets burned.