Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia has called on all Ghanaians, irrespective of religious persuasions, to voluntarily contribute to the construction of the National Cathedral. The Vice-President maintains that the building of the cathedral is important “for Ghana and for the glory of God.”
The call by the second gentleman of the country regenerates the continued lively debate surrounding the Cathedral.
The call for voluntary contribution comes to cement the widely communicated position of members in government and the Board in charge of the cathedral that the building is not funded from government’s purse.
That the building of the cathedral is important for the country has been a subject of debate. What is not a subject of debate is the fact that Ghana is Africa’s second most peaceful country despite our division on religious, ethnic, tribal and geographical grounds. That majority of Ghanaians believe in the existence of a Supreme Being is also not in contention. Whether God, Allah, Mawu, Nyumo, Onyankopon or whatever name we call him, majority believes in this Supreme Being. And that we believe the peace we enjoy is largely attributed to the protection of this Supreme Being is also not in doubt.
Thus, it is undeniable that one of the means to appreciate the peace given to us by this Supreme Being is the vision of the President to ensure that a national cathedral is built for the glorification of his name, as members of the two main religions in Ghana believe.
Aside from the spiritual attribution of our peace, we also share in the dream of the Vice-President that “the construction of the Cathedral would add further to our enviable record of peaceful co-existence” as a country. We read on a daily basis the many religious conflicts in other parts of the world. In Ghana, the ‘conflict’ we hear of, though jokingly, is the social media banter of a Muslim friend not inviting his Christian friend to enjoy Eid meat and how he would also not be invited for Christmas chicken.
Thus, this cathedral, as the Vice-President has stated, cements our peaceful co-existence as a country divided in our diversity but united in our purpose, aspirations, dreams and visions.
Restating the importance of a monument like a National Cathedral to tourism will be a banal exercise, knowing that the argument has been overstated by people who argue for the cathedral.
But we cannot lose sight of the importance of the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the City and Diocese of Washington, commonly known as Washington National Cathedral, in the history and tourism development of the United States of America. In the same way, we cannot lose sight of the relevance of the Notre-Dame de Paris in the history of France, among other things.
Till date, and despite all the changing spate of events, the First Temple, also known as the Solomon Temple, remains critical in the history of the people of Israel, and continues to be a good source of tourism revenue.
That is why we agree with the Vice-President when he says the building of the cathedral is important for Ghana.
And that is also why we share in the Vice-President’s call on Ghanaians of all faith to support the building of the cathedral. That the building is not coming from the taxpayers’ money is a good thing for Ghana. Members of the Board have, on their own, been able to put up huge cathedrals across Ghana. This should convince us that with their expertise put together, the Cathedral shall surely be built for the Glory of God.
But our individual voluntary contributions are also needed, for as it was in the days of Nehemiah, history shall remember one day that when people were needed to stand for God and for protection of country’s peace, we did our part.
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