In the wake of the resignation of the much esteemed Christian charismatic leaders, Archbishop Duncan-William and Eastwood Anaba, many Ghanaians have viewed the “pious” project as one that has no credibility.
Particularly that the church leaders resigned over issues of lack of accountability, makes the project a nefarious one in the view of the citizens, one that cannot be a foundation for the sacred sanctuary.
However, Grace Akosua Animah, the government’s spokesperson on infrastructure, has emphasized that the National Cathedral Project is still credible regardless of the recent resignation of Archbishop Duncan-William and Eastwood Anaba.
According to her, no one on the board was kept in the dark about the financial activities of the project.
Furthermore, she stated that the Board of Trustees was part of the fundraising strategies.
“There are also churches in Ghana that have contributed to the project. So there is an open and transparent process of communication and that will be necessary to take note of. None has been kept in the dark about where the funds are coming from. The trustees are part of the raising of the funds. “Grace Akosua Animah
However, she indicated that she respected the decision of Archbishop Duncan-Williams and Rev. Eastwood Anaba but believes there may be other issues that were unresolved which may have necessitated their resignation.
“I respect their decisions, if they want to stand aside until something is done or that private company is made to audit the monies that have been coming. I agree with them. I am not against them, but I believe they are members of the Board of Trustees and probably there may be other internal issues that haven’t been addressed, that they are not happy about. That might be why they have decided to resign.”Grace Akosua Animah
“They said their prayers were with us. It should tell you that the National Cathedral is still credible”, she added.
Justifying the government’s decision to build the cathedral, she underscored that the country’s church landscape is problematically denominational. On top of that, she said, the country has a situation whereby our politics is retrogressively partisan. Therefore, the need for a symbol of national unity.
“We need something that will symbolize it. In terms of infrastructure, we have a missing infrastructure for state events like state funerals, presidential inaugural services, and national thanksgiving amongst others.
“When you go to a country like Ivory Coast, they have Notre Dame. Even here in Ghana, our Muslim brothers have a very magnificent edifice at Kawukudi. That’s the symbol of their unity; that kind of joins them. So when you talk about Muslims, you know there is a particular mosque that joins all the Muslims. So that when occasions or something comes up, they can just go and meet there.”Grace Akosua Animah
National Cathedral Fundraising Strategies
She indicated that to attract funding for the project, besides state financing, fundraising strategies were raised by the trustees. One was the mass mobilization strategy which was GHS 100 by well-meaning Ghanaians that were advised to contribute over a short code. She explained the other means as well;
“We also have the church mobilization strategy whereby statutory budgetary support from the churches for National Cathedral Week in the churches was also raised. We had some funds coming from there too. We also had the private sector strategy whereby businesses had round tables gatherings to mobilize Christian businesses, Christian businessmen, and women to financially contribute to support the project. We also had international fundraising whereby Ghanaians in the diaspora, churches, and other international actors who supported the National Cathedral vision can also come on board to contribute something.”Grace Akosua Animah
She therefore concluded that there were other sources of funds that were coming into the building of the cathedral. According to Grace Akosua Animah, it was not just the state alone providing the funds. Hence, even though the economic indicators did not look favorable, the work could continue.
However, as a listening government, works have been halted at the site, she insisted.
Meanwhile, Ayisha Alhassan, a member of the NDC Communication Team, believes the resignation of Archbishop Duncan William and Rev. Eastwood Anaba was long overdue. She however gave them approbation for their resignation.