Looting our Rosewood for Cathedral!

Amb. Alhaji Abdul-Rahman Harruna Attah, MOV


Oh yes! Couldn’t come up with a better heading. If you take something
that does not belong to you, is that not stealing and its synonyms:
looting, burglary, robbing, etc.? And if that thing belongs to a nation, a
country, citizenry, that’s more serious, that is a crime against the state.
According to the Daily Graphic, “The government will, henceforth,
donate all rosewood confiscated by the state towards the National
Cathedral project, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr.
Samuel Abu Jinapor, has said. In line with that, five containers of the
wood species which were confiscated at the Tema Port on June 17,
2021, by the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority would
become the first of such donations towards the project.” If this isn’t
causing financial loss to the State, what else is? Honestly, these people
have really got Ghanaians for cheap or else how could they have come
up with this day light robbery of items belonging to all of us? And why
this obsession with this cathedral?!!! For the sake of curiosity, did the
architect who designed the cathedral have rosewood in mind when he
was designing the building, or is it because when they chanced on this
windfall, they instructed him to modify his brief, which he has already
executed and handed over? If so, he will have to redesign the building to
include rosewood elements. Architects do not modify briefs they have

already executed and delivered for free. Money would have to come
from somewhere to pay for the modified brief.
No day passes without some provocative deed or word regarding the
building from the government. Last week was particularly inflammatory.
After Alhaji Dr. Mahmoudu Bawumia had gone into a church to canvas
for money towards the building, a “delegation” paid a “courtesy call” on
the leading Muslim cleric in Ghana, the National Chief Imam, and
wriggled out of him fifty thousand Ghana cedis as his personal
donation… This obsession has been described by many as a
cabalistic/occultist undertaking. Indeed, though some osofos have lined
up to show solidarity with the political proposer, Nana Addo Dankwa
Akufo-Addo. others have been scathing, describing it as the work of
Satan! True, I am not making it up, there is a clip doing the social media
circuit showing an osofo make that claim.
Now back to Abu Jinapor’s temerity of taking what does not belong to
him and handing it so cavalierly to the cathedral. He may carry the title
of “Minister” but that does not entitle him to treat state property with
such impunity and arrogance. He should be very careful: Right now the
former chair of the NCA is languishing in jail as a result of he Jinapor’s
government’s selective (in)justice, the former chief executive of GCMB
another victim of selective (in) justice is being hounded in and out of
court, and just recently, a former cabinet minister is also following the
same pattern of selective (in)justice.
Abu Jinapor’s brazen theft of the wood for the cathedral may impress his
boss now, but, may yet see him also face similar predicaments. He
should not expect that he would not be called upon to account one day –
perhaps not too long in the future.
So, where are the voices of protest when such blatant abuse of office is
taking place in the full glare of sunlight? It is not everything that the

fixthecountry youngsters can shoulder. The loss of revenue from illegal

rosewood trade and such acts are part of the reason why this country is

going down and needs to be fixed. They are right to preoccupy
themselves with unemployment and the general malaise of governance
but the issue of the so called national cathedral should occupy all of us,
especially the adults, who should know better and be more questioning
than parochial. The ridiculous conception and attempt at forceful
execution calls for a united and determined Ghanaian populace of
goodwill to mass ranks and oppose it or treat it with such contempt that
it would eventually go the way of Felix Houphouet-Boigny’s
Yamoussoukro ill-fated basilica. For those apologists finding no fault
with this provocation and aberration and even promoting it when all
public surveys about it have revealed overwhelming opposition, their
complicity is their contribution to our continuing underdevelopment. It
is a mark that would remain imprinted on their foreheads for posterity
and making the excuse of “we were all gaping sycophants” would no
longer be funny…
And finally, our rosewood, if we must dispose of the consignment, let us
be fair, just, and equitable. There are many bona fide Ghanaian
auctioneers who can oversee a public auction for all interested
Ghanaians to bid…I am sure Ghanaian architects, interior decorators,
sculptors, furniture makers, other artisans and art institutions would
welcome that…That is how to run a country with competence in
freedom and justice.

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