Enthusiasm for building National Cathedral has diminished – Rev. Opuni-Frimpong
A former General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana, Reverend Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong, has expressed concerns about the continuation and waning enthusiasm for the National Cathedral project.
Following the resignation of Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams and Rev. Eastwood Anaba from the Board of Trustees overseeing the construction of the National Cathedral, Rev. Opuni-Frimpong said the initial fervour surrounding the project has dwindled significantly.
In an interview with Selorm Adonoo on Eyewitness News, Rev. Opuni-Frimpong explained that the initial intention behind the project was for it to be spearheaded and constructed by the church. However, over time, it became apparent that the government was taking on a more prominent role in the project.
“I was in the Office as General Secretary at the very beginning of the National Cathedral. At the time, the former presiding bishop of the Methodist Church, Reverend Samuel Asante Antwi, was the chairman of the Board of the National Cathedral. He explained to us that we, the churches in Ghana, were going to build the Cathedral, not the government. The government was only going to facilitate the process and provide seed money. We were happy about this idea.”
“We thought we were having an opportunity to work together as Christians to achieve something,” Rev. Opuni-Frimpong continued. “However, when Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa started a series of disclosures, it became very clear that it was the government that was building the Cathedral.”
Rev. Opuni-Frimpong expressed concern that the government’s involvement in the project has diminished the sense of ownership and enthusiasm among Christians in Ghana. He urged the government to allow the churches to take a leading role in the project.
“My plea is that the government must allow the churches to build the Cathedral. We should not offer to God a Cathedral that cost us nothing.”
Archbishop Nicholas Duncan Williams and Rev. Eastwood Anaba, announced their resignation in a letter to the president, dated October 12, 2023, over concerns that their call for an audit into the activities of the National Cathedral project, went unheeded since January 2023.
They noted that the deafening silence on the call for an audit runs contrary to their conscience and belief.
But in a sharp rebuttal, National Cathedral Secretariat described the claim that no information whatsoever on the audit process was conveyed to them, as false.
In a statement, the Executive Director of the National Cathedral Project, Dr Paul Opoku-Mensah narrated that “following this, the engagement letter for Deloitte to officially begin the audit was drafted and signed by Deloitte on March 27, 2023, and set up on their system on May 17, 2023. The expectation was that the first part of the audit was to be completed in July 2023. The audit process, so far, can be confirmed with the auditors, Deloitte.”
“The Board was constantly updated on the process through the Chairman and the Steering Committee, as well as the Executive Director’s reports to the meetings of the Board.”
“Although Archbishop Duncan Williams and Rev. Eastwood Anaba were not present at both the June 2023 and September 2023 meetings, they and all the other Board members who were not physically present at the meeting were sent copies of all the documents for the Board meeting, including the Executive Director’s report. The claim that they have received no information, whatsoever, on the audit process is therefore false.”