South Dayi Member of Parliament Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor has said it was embarrassing for Men of God who preach about sanctity, chastity, and truthfulness to God to find themselves on the Board of Trustees of the National Cathedral. He said calls made by Parliament for an audit into the project had not been heeded.
He was commenting on the resignation of Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams and Rev. Eastwood Anaba, the Founder and General Overseer of the Action Chapel Churches Worldwide, and President of the Eastwood Anaba Ministries respectively, from the Board of Trustees overseeing the construction of the National Cathedral in Ghana.
Their resignation was due to the failure of the government to appoint an independent accounting firm to audit all public funds contributed to the National Cathedral, a statement they issued on Tuesday, October 17 said.
“Despite our prayers, best hopes and wishes, unfortunately, a needed audit to help restore public confidence and trust in this consequential project has not been enacted to the best of our knowledge. Since January 2023, we awaited news to no avail, regarding the finding of the audit.
“We, therefore, regret that as a matter of conscience and faith, we hereby submit to you our resignation from the Board of Trustees of the National Cathedral, ” portions of the statement said. The two respected clergymen in January 2023 called for an immediate suspension of the construction of the National Cathedral pending an audit of the project.
In a letter to the Board of Trustees, the two eminent clergymen also stated that the current economic climate in Ghana makes it impossible for the timely completion of the project hence the call for its suspension until improvement in the economic fortunes of the country.
“The current economic climate in Ghana presents obstacles to the timely construction and completion of the National Cathedral… We, therefore, resolve That in the spirit and cause of transparency and accountability to the Ghanaian people, the current Board of Trustees of the National Cathedral shall appoint an independent, nationally recognized accounting firm to audit all public funds contributed to and spent by the National Cathedral,” the two clergymen said in a memo.
Speaking on the Ghana Tonight Show on TV3 on Tuesday, October 17, Mr Dafeamkepor who is also a Member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament said “Indeed they are not the only trustees who have asked for an audit, Parliament itself has also asked for an audit.
“Indeed, Parliament by a private members’ motion put up a committee to look into the activities of the national cathedral.
“Let me say that that may be the apparent singular reason. There are more other reasons as a result of which these two distinguished men of God have decided to abandon the ship in this matter., it is an embarrassment, a national embarrassment, a religious embarrassment
“The fact that people who mount the pulpit and speak about piety, sanctity, chastity, truthfulness to God and man find themselves on the board in this embarrassment. They find it a very convenient point to disembark and abandon the ship.”
The National Cathedral project was a pledge President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo made to his God when he was campaigning ahead of the 2016 presidential elections. He prayed that he was going build the cathedral to honour God if the almighty helped him to win the elections that year, an election he won.
However, the project has been fraught with allegations of financial impropriety. North Tongu lawmaker Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has been making a series of corruption allegations with regard to the stalled project.
In one of his episodes on the rejection, the opposition lawmaker said the Articles of Incorporation he secured from the District of Columbia Government’s Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (corporation’s division) confirmed that a nonprofit corporation was registered as the “National Cathedral of Ghana and Bible Museum Foundation, Inc.”
“This National Cathedral of Ghana and Bible Museum Foundation, Inc. received its Certificate of Incorporation with its effective date being May 3, 2021 and signed by Josef G. Gasimov, Superintendent of Corporations, Corporations Division. (See certificate attached).
“It is worthy of note that the name National Cathedral of Ghana and Museum Foundation, Inc. is unmistakably different from what was incorporated in Ghana some two years prior, specifically on the 18th of July, 2019 as the National Cathedral of Ghana.
“Curiously, we have also discovered that none of the prominent Ministers of the Gospel who serve as Trustees of the National Cathedral of Ghana feature in the articles of incorporation and list of governors as submitted to US authorities,” he said in a statement…
By: Laud Nartey