Ibrahim Murtala Mohammed, the member of Parliament for Tamale Central has taken on the Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Nana Amoatia Ofori Panin II over his position that failure to complete the construction of the National Cathedral will bring shame to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Ghana.
Murtala Mohammed who admitted to having great respect for the chieftaincy institution, posited in a Joy News interview that the position by the Okyenhene is untenable and not in tandem with the dictates of the Bible.
Murtala Mohammed says per his knowledge of the Bible, God will not be in favor of erecting a Cathedral in His name at a time when the country’s economy is tanking.
He said God finds joy in helping people in need and not being corrupt and that if the president wants to please God, he should practise the stated virtues.
“I’m a royal and I’ve so much respect for chiefs. When Karl Max said religion was the opium of the masses, I think traditional authorities are now the opium of the masses. How on earth can anyone argue this one?
“The best thing you can do to please God is to reduce poverty, eschew corruption, create jobs and ensure there is peace and harmony. God did not ask you to build a cathedral at the expense of people.
“If you have a respected traditional leader who says we shouldn’t bring shame… so we shouldn’t bring shame at the expense of our survival? So because of avoiding shame, people must rob in the name of God. You think God will be happy? I think God is angry with this government,” he stated.
Murtala Mohammed also questioned the tourism-worthiness of the National Cathedral, stating that there is no historical connection to the facility.
“The biggest cathedral in Ghana is in my constituency and I remember as Muslims, growing up we used to go there. I’ve heard the argument being made that it will be tourist site, but on what basis?
“You think someone will leave Bethlehem. The Bible says that the best thing that pleases God is improving the living conditions of people. You think God will be happy with this?” he quizzed.
The Okyenhene in his justification of the need for a Cathedral, stated that it will be a shame to the president and the nation if the project is not completed.
Addressing the Board of Trustees of the National Cathedral Project in Kyebi last Friday (December 9), Ofori Panin said the benefits of having the project will be immense.
“He [Akufo-Addo] has to glorify the name of the Lord for how far He has brought him and build the cathedral to testify that he is grateful to God for making him President, there is no sweeter news as this.”
He continued: “with the cathedral, there’ll be no need to travel to Israel, just in Accra, the cathedral will answer all your questions about Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth and everything.
“So I’m pleading with you all, let us not bring shame upon our country and the President, let us contribute to build the cathedral,” he added.