General News of Sunday, 12 March 2017
The government must not use state resources to build religious edifices or fly pilgrims to holy sites, founder of policy think tank IMANI, Mr Franklin Cudjoe, has said.
“Religion is a personal matter,” Mr Cudjoe said in a post, adding: “The state should not be in the business of organising and paying for religious trips for anyone or group who wants to go on a pilgrimage neither should it be building edifices for same as has been announced by this government.”
“This is not the 14th century when Mansa Musa as leader of the Malian Kingdom organised a grandiose pilgrimage to Mecca. Never mind the benefits to Mali at the time – opening up the Kingdom to modern Islamic learning. Even then, it also made Mali vulnerable to external attacks as its gold wealth was carried along on that faithful pilgrimage. That was then! As a Roman Catholic, I pay for my own trip to any Grotto be it in Rome or Kpandu in the Volta Region. Just saying, the state should not plunder our resources this way,” he wrote.
Mr Cudjoe’s concerns follow a recent cutting of sod by President Nana Akufo-Addo for the construction of a national cathedral in Accra.
The project, when completed, will serve as a national place of Christian worship and a place to hold important religious ceremonies.
Mr Akufo-Addo expressed optimism that the facility would be used for the purposes of which it was provided.
He was accompanied by prominent preachers such as Archbishop Nicolas Duncan-Williams, Pastor Mensa Otabil, Archbishop Charles Palmer Buckle, Rev Victor Kusi, Prof Emmanuel Martey, the immediate past Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, and Prof Cephas Narh Omenyo, the church’s current Moderator, among others.