Opinion Leader Wades Into Mosque/Cathedral Brouhaha

Alhaji Baba Abdullahi

An opinion leader in the Islamic community has cautioned against juxtaposing the proposed national Cathedral with the Kanda Mosque while advancing arguments for and against the subject.

Alhaji Baba Abdullahi aka Sheriff CEO of the Marhaba Media Limited said the Kanda Mosque is a replacement for the demolished Makola Mosque, adding that the Abossey Okai Mosque was in existence before the demolition of the former.

Speaking to DAILY GUIDE in the light of the raging argument over the proposed national Cathedral in which some persons claim the Abossey Okai Mosque was built to replace the Makola Mosque, he said “while I do not see anything wrong with the cathedral project, I am against the claim that the government built a mosque for Muslims as replacement for the demolished Makola Mosque because that is factually incorrect.”

He continued: “The Abossey Okai Mosque existed before the demolition of the Makola Mosque and the current National Chief Imam was the one leading prayers at the facility at the time until it was brought down.”

At the peak of the demolished mosque, Muslims prayed close to the then GNTC building and even around the Presbyterian Book Depot during the Friday congregational prayers.

Putting the Kanda Mosque in historical context, he said it used to be a rubbish dump until it was acquired for the mosque project to replace the Makola Mosque.

The Abossey Okai Mosque was initiated by the late Alhaji Wahe Kadiri English for the construction of a prayer facility for the many Muslims living in the area in 1967.

The late B.A. Yakubu, the IGP and member of the National Liberation Council (NLC) cut the sod for the commencement of work. It is instructive to note that the demolition was done in 1986 while the Abossey Okai Mosque built before then. The demolition was undertaken by Construction Pioneers fondly called CP.

He explained that the general area of the Abossey Okai Mosque was inhabited by many Muslims in places like Malam Maiturare and Old Fadama, including the place where Pastor Mensa Otabil’s  Chapel is now located.

Those who argue over such issues must get their facts right before wading into the media polemics now raging in the country.

He said documents for the land for the construction of the Kanda Mosque being built by a Turkish NGO were handed over to the then Chief Imam during a national thanksgiving ceremony at the Abossey Okai Central Mosque by Hon. Mike Gizo then Greater Accra Regional Minister and MP for Osudoku constituency on behalf of President J.J. Rawlings in 1995.

By A.R. Gomda