Don’t build National Cathedral on foundation of lies – Samson Anyenini

The defence of a planned demolition of public properties for a National Cathedral has been criticised as containing lies.

Samson Lardy Anyenini who first brought up the matter making a plea for a change of the location has said some of the affected buildings such as the residence of Court of Appeal justices are not as old as government has claimed.

“Just when did even the five-year-old bungalows become colonial, dilapidated and not befitting?” he raised a series of questions in a Facebook post Tuesday.

The Board of Trustees for the National Cathedral has settled on prime lands from Ridge Circle to the Osu cemetry in the capital, Accra.

The residence of nine judges, the Judicial Training Institute at East Ridge, the Scholarship Secretariat and the Passport Office will have to make way for the National Cathedral.

Government wants the building constructed to mark Ghana’s 60th anniversary. It has also explained that it is to be used for formal state occasions of a religious nature, such as presidential inaugurations, state funerals, and national thanksgiving services.

The National Cathedral will sit around a14-acre garden and will have chapels, a baptistery, a music school, an art gallery, a Bible Museum and Documentation Centre.

It is expected to seat 5,000 people in its main auditorium.

But the choice of the location of the national symbol of interdominational unity is threatening to scatter support for the National cathderal.

The lawyer last Saturday complained about the treatment of the judges and planned demolitions and cost of planned reconstruction of the buildings earmarked for destruction.

Samson Lardy suggested the area could rather be developed into a judicial enclave as appears to be the plan leading to the new six-bedroom residential structures started by the judiciary some five years ago. He prefers Government finds a vacant land for the cathedral.

The Judicial Service which is constructing the houses may not have finished paying for the five-year old bungalows as well as those under construction, the lawyer said.

Joy News has reported some of the judges are unhappy with the relocation plan despite government’s claim, no one has complained.

But Samson Lardy has said a statement from the Chief Justice to the nine affected judges shows they are unhappy. The statement, he said, was a belated written apology to the affected judges after some complained about an oral notice of eviction.

The lawyer who hosts Newsfile on Joy News channel is not convinced the relocation of the judges was part of a purported “long-term plan”.

The government has said it will be building 21 replacement bungalows much better looking than the ones marked for demolition. It has also said the Board of Trustees is responsible for financing the project. The government is only providing land.

But the TV Show host wants to know why government would not rather build the national cathedral on new lands meant for the 21 replacement bungalows and affected state institutions.

He also wants the Board of Trustees to show evidence they are bearing the cost of temporary rent accommodation and the planned reconstruction.



There is no need to build a cathedral on a foundation of lies. You don’t need evidence beyond that quit notice with an apology. In there, it is gov’t that announces it has rented accommodation for relocation of judges. It is gov’t that commits to building 21 replacement bungalows.

It is gov’t, not some church trustee group, that commits to fresh lands for building institution to be demolished. Listen to Peter Amewu repeat these commitments with emphasis until he is asked “who pays for all that” and he hesitates and then attempts an answer that “there is a financial arrangement”, they brought the bill I have to look at it.” How much did he say the rental accommodation cost?

Let’s hear the men of God say and show evidence they took up the bills. Just when did even the five-year-old bungalows become colonial, dilapidated and not befitting? How about those still under construction and is it true the judicial service has not even finished paying for the new and/or ongoing structures, and just when did they come up with this “long-time plan to relocate” and so embraced a coincidence of a favour (miracle) to build them 21 new and better ones? “No one affected has complained. They are happy.” Yeah, not even the 24-hour oral quit notice got any of them to complain. Find out why that quit notice with an apology became necessary belatedly.

The answer to my PLEA for CHANGE of site to avoid cost is clear “we found some land to build 21 replacement bungalows and even bigger lands to build the institutions to be destroyed. These fresh naked lands are not suited for our cathedral. We won’t go anywhere else if you like go burn the sea”, and that’s okay.

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