Former Deputy Minister of Information, James Agyenim-Boateng

A former Deputy Minister of Information in the late Prof. Atta Mills’ regime, James Agyenim-Boateng, has expressed surprise about the persons defending the construction of the National Cathedral.

According to him, the proponents of the Project are the very people who criticised the late President Atta-Mills for praying at the Castle.

In a Facebook post on Saturday, the former NDC appointee described the situation as an ‘irony of life’; wondering why the critics of the late prayerful President are now advocating for a National Cathedral.

“The people who mocked and blamed Prof. Atta Mills for praying too much as President and accused him of turning the Castle into a church are the very people who say that they are building a National Cathedral.

They are the same people who say that they are building a National Cathedral for God to reside in and help us surmount our numerous challenges. These same people say that we need a National Cathedral more than anything else at this point in time. This truly is the irony of life!”, he wrote.

In an earlier Facebook post on the National Cathedral, he stated that, “we may have to set aside a national day of fasting and prayer for the National Cathedral to probably begin bringing honour and reputation because so far, it’s wreaking havoc to reputations built over many years”.

The comments by Agyenim-Boateng ties into the series of sentiments, expressed by a section of the public over the construction of the National Cathedral.

According to some of the critics, it is a waste of resources for government to build a Cathedral in the face of pertinent issues such as the perennial flooding in Accra and the arrears owed NABCO beneficiaries.

The critics, including the Minority in Parliament, have therefore called on government to place more premium on the issues affecting Ghanaians, while making the construction of the National Cathedral more transparent, devoid of corruption.

Meanwhile, the Executive Director of the National Cathedral project, Dr. Paul Opoku-Mensah has refuted reports that Dr. Mensa Otabil, one of the Members of its Board of Trustees resigned from the Board due to illegalities.

In a statement on Friday, he explained that prior to the registration of the members of the Board of Trustees in 2019, Dr. Otabil opted out since, “he could not give the needed attention to the project”.

He stressed that the Founder of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC) has not been a member of the Board of Trustees since 2019, due to his unwillingness to register to be part of the Board of Trustees.

“So, Dr. Mensa Otabil did not resign from the Board as being alleged, but excused himself at the point of registration of the Directors in July, 2019. For the avoidance of all doubt, Dr. Otabil has not been a member of the Board of Trustees since July, 2019”, part of the statement read.

Dr. Paul Opoku-Mensah, however, noted that Dr. Mensa Otabil, “remains actively interested in the project and continues to share his views on strategy with the Secretariat”

Earlier, Ranking Member on the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa alleged that Dr. Mensa Otabil had resigned from the Board of Trustees.

Speaking on The Probe on JoyNews, Mr. Ablakwa asserted that the resignation was due to the illegality being perpetrated by the Akufo-Addo government with respect to the project.

“There is quite an uneasy calm among the Board of Trustees. And I can confirm to you that one imminent priest has walked away from the Board; the revered Dr, Mensa Otabil is no longer with them.

Mockers of Atta Mills' prayerful nature are now building a National Cathedral - Former NDC Dep. Minister
Project site of the National Cathedral of Ghana

The whole year, he has not attended any of their meetings. It is not clear what his intention was, but he has given indication that all is not well”, he told host Emefa Apawu on Sunday, June 12.

Subsequently, JoyNews’ checks on the National Cathedral’s website indicated that membership of the Board of Trustees had been updated to reflect the exit of Dr. Mensa Otabil, the Founder of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC).

Checks on the National Cathedral’s website as of Wednesday, June 15, confirmed he is no longer part of the Trustees.

However, the statement issued by the Executive Director for the Cathedral explained that “the continuous use of his [Dr. Mensa Otabil] name and pictures on the websites and publications was an administrative lapse by the Secretariat”.