The national cathedral must make President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo a pauper, yes, I believe so. On Wednesday, August 25, 2021, we were all happy with the donation of GH¢50,000 by the National Chief Imam.
Most people praised the gesture as an act of love and unity. And that, I believe, is so. For the National Chief Imam, the Muslim head to make that contribution is admirable.
The National Chief Imam’s act means that the national cathedral must be open to all religious groups when completed.
But back to my thoughts on the cathedral turning our President into a pauper.
My understanding of the President’s pledge is that it was made in return for a victory at the elections.
In essence, in the trying moments of the 2020 presidential election campaigns, the president prayed and told God, “If you give me victory, I will build a cathedral to your glory.”
That pledge was made by Nana, and Nana alone. To the best of my knowledge, I was nowhere near him, when he made the pledge! And I definitely was not in his mind when he made it.
What was important to him as at the time of the pledge, were the difficulties of the campaign, the uncertainty of victory, and his great desire to be president, hence the prayer and pledge!
Pledges, when made by an individual to God, come at a personal cost and not a national one. In Second Samuel 24, when King David of the Bible had a national crisis on his hands, he prayed for God’s mercy and pledged.
When God answered David, by restraining judgment on Isreal, David went to the exact spot where the Lord had had a change of heart in his judgment of Israel.
That spot belonged to a citizen of Israel, Araunah, who, like a typical Ghanaian, giving all deference to his king (president), was eager to let his king/president have the land free of charge.
But David, who understood his pledge told his citizen, Araunah, “Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.”
In Judges 11:30, Jephthah, Israel’s leader “vowed a vow unto the Lord, and said, if thou shalt without fail to deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, then it shall be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the people of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord’s, and I will offer it up as a burnt offering”.
In Mark 6, we read of the beheading of John the Baptist, just because Pilate pledged to give to his daughter anything she asked for, and instigated by the mother, she asked for the head of John the Baptist.
From the above scripture, we can glean that pledges are costly, not only in monetary terms, but it must be a debilitating cost, a sacrifice one has to live with, all one’s life.
Since the pledge our President made was to the God of the Bible, it is only fair to use the Bible in accessing it.
The scriptures above teach that pledges to God come at a cost. We cannot pledge to God, receive what we prayed for, and try to fulfill our promise with no cost to us at all.
A pledge to God is costly. It must cost the pledger.
Thus, in the case of the cathedral, the president must dispose himself of all his wealth to start the project, then those who associate with the pledge can then come in to help.
As it is now, it seems that there is no personal cost or injury to the President in fulfillment of his own pledge.