National Democratic Congress [NDC] Member of Parliament for Tamale North, Alhassan Suhuyini, wants the Akufo-Addo government to facilitate the construction of a national center of worship for other religious groups in the country.
His demand follows the current controversy surrounding the construction of a 5000-seater national cathedral in Accra.
[contextly_sidebar id=”rxLuZi8IRekQ8KTrgKDGdRYJL8SpJGf5″]Ghanaians have expressed mixed feelings over government’s decision to relocate the residence of about nine judges as a result of the project.
Some have described the government’s decision to demolish homes of the judges to pave the way for the construction of the cathedral as wasteful and unnecessary.
Speaking on Citi TV’s Breakfast Daily, the Tamale North legislator said it would only be fair on the part of government if same is replicated for other religious groups in the country.
“If that’s government’s decision and they find it important, I have nothing against it. But you see, this is not a decision by the Christian community. It is a decision of the government to give them a national cathedral. Maybe when they finish, they will give us too a national mosque, and they will give the traditional believers a national shrine too.”
“They do not have to wait for another faith to ask. Just like how they have taken this decision to dash a national cathedral to the Christian community, we expect them to do that. It should not be about another faith asking.”
President Nana Akufo-Addo in 2017 cut the sod for the construction of a National Cathedral to serve as a national non-denominational Christian worship center for the country.
But the relocation of the judges was only confirmed in writing on July 24, in a letter from the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry.
Justice Julius Ansah admitted that this was not proper.
“Although I admit that since the agreement in principle had been reached, it would have been proper to give you a hint at least.”
Judges to get permanent abode in 2020
In the long term, the government is constructing new residences for judges at Cantonments.
“The government has committed to construct 21 new bungalows on the second Circular road, Cantonment, to replace the old ones affected by the project. Construction of the new bungalow is expected to be completed and handed over to the Service by January 2020.”
In the meantime, the judges have been provided with “temporary residential buildings.”
Financiers of the cathedral will pay the temporary accommodation for the judicial staff including judges residing along the area earmarked for the national cathedral project.
The affected judges are; Justice F. Kusi Appiah, Justice Mariama Owusu, Justice Avril Lovelace-Johnson, Justice Magaret Welbourne, Justice Saeed Kwaku Gyan, Justice Lawrence L. Mensah, Justice Gbiel S. Suurbareh and Justice Anthony Oppong.
President Nana Akufo-Addo has reportedly been petitioned to reconsider the plan to relocate the judges.
By: Marian Ansah/citinewsroom.com/Ghana