Days after his volatile gaffe saying the National Mosque was funded by state money, the Executive Director and Project Coordinator of the National Cathedral of Ghana Dr Paul Opoku-Mensah has apologised to the Coalition of Muslims, Ghana (COMOG).
Dr Opoku during a discussion on GTV’s evergreen programme Talking Point on GTV on Sunday, June 12 said the state contributed resources to the construction of the National Mosque at Kanda.
His claim was swiftly dismissed by the Muslim group who asked him to retract and apologise to Muslims to the entire Muslim Ummah Ghana for spreading lies.
In view of this, he has come to say he “deeply regrets the pain it might have caused COMOG and the Muslim Ummah in Ghana”. He was quoted by 3News as saying at no point during the TV programme did he say the government spent state resources in the construction of the National Mosque.
He said what he had on hindsight was “state facilitation”, which per his telephone conversation with COMOG President Hajj Abdel-Manan Abdel Rahman did not even happen.
Dr Opoku-Mensah, therefore, apologised for the use of the phrase “state facilitation”.
“In making this retraction and apology, I want to highlight what I said in the interview, and repeated in my telephone conversation with Hajj Abdel-Rahman:
“We should not equalise the discussions on the National Cathedral and the National Mosque as they are separate projects.
“We should be very careful as a nation not to disrupt the unique peaceful relations that exists between Muslims and Christians. The Chief Imam, His Eminence Sheikh Dr Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu through, among others, his inspiring personal support for the National Cathedral project, continues to show us the way.
“The National Mosque and the National Cathedral provide a historic opportunity for these two Abrahamic faiths – Islam and Christianity – whose adherents constitute almost 90% of Ghana’s population, to have the national platforms from which to work together in support of the nation’s peace, cohesion and transformation.”