Vice President of IMANI Africa and private legal practitioner, Kofi Bentil

Vice President of IMANI Africa, Kofi Bentil has stated that the National Cathedral started on lies.

According to him, even though government initially announced that it will not resort to the state’s coffers in funding the project, there has been evidence to the contrary.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, June 15, he expressed his reservations about the initiative and bemoaned the tension which has characterised the project.

“National Cathedral… A building for God? Repugnant idea even for devout Christians! Christians always build our churches without looting scarce state funds!!! indeed the church helped the State! Not take from it! The project started on lies that it will NOT use state funds, then what did we see?

The state demolished millions of dollars worth of perfectly fine buildings!! Is that not the use of State resources? After that it’s been a series of terrible things! Around a building for GOD?? Bad start, bad process, bad progress, taking state funds, bad communication, endless controversies!!”, he wrote.

The post by the private legal practitioner continued: ” I am fortified in my assurance that Jehovah God whom we serve doesn’t want this building !! He occupies the whole universe and spoke to Moses in the wilderness!

No amount of twisted logic around religion and baseless ideas of national righteousness can sanitise the stealing of poor peoples money to fulfil a promise to your god! and build a sick monument to yourself on the backs of poor people whilst enriching friends and family. Stop it!!”.

Kofi Bentil’s remarks add to the scores of public resentments against the National Cathedral.

So far, the Minority in Parliament has lamented the lack of transparency that has marked the project.

Award-winning investigative journalist, Manasseh Azure Awuni and Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Sulemana Braimah have equally added their voice to calls for government to focus on more pertinent issues rather than the National Cathedral.

Meanwhile, the membership of the Board of Trustees of the National Cathedral has 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 that he is no longer part of the Trustees.

National Cathedral started on lies - Kofi Bentil
Dr Mensa Otabil

It is unclear what might have necessitated his exit from the Board.

However, according to JoyNews sources, several attempts to get him to rescind his decision failed; leaving the Board with no choice but to amend the information on its website.

Ranking Member on Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, had earlier mentioned his exit on Sunday, June 12.

Speaking on The Probe, Mr Ablakwa alleged that the desertion by the theologian is 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 eminent priest has walked away from the Board; the revered Dr Mensa Otabil is no longer with them.

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.

National Cathedral started on lies - Kofi Bentil
It is unclear what necessitated his exit from the Board

In recent times, the lawmaker has also been accusing government of siphoning public funds to facilitate a project it propagated as a personal and private pledge.

The North Tongu MP has therefore put out documents showing that an amount of ¢200 million has been dished out for the construction of the project.

These monies, he said, were dished out without recourse to parliamentary processes or strict public procurement practices.