Sheikh Abdul Mumin Haroun
The Office of the Ashanti Regional Chief Imam in conjunction with the Peace and Reconciliation Committee of the region have denied rendering an apology to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Chairman in the region.
The denial comes in the wake of a social media report pointing at such an apology to the regional chairman of the opposition party.
The said report, which went viral, according to a statement from the regional chief imam’s office and signed by Ustaz Ahmed Seidu, claimed that the Regional Chief Imam Sheikh Abdul Mumin Haroun made a comment when he led a delegation to the residence of the Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, the flagbearer of the NPP.
“The Chief Imam has neither sent anyone nor even thought of sending anyone to apologise on his behalf. The Chief Imam has said nothing wrong that called for an apology. It is rather the other way round. The NDC Chairman should rather apologise for the disgraceful and disrespectful 48-hour ultimatum he gave the Regional Chief Imam. Those who went and did that shameful act did it on their own without the permission and consent of the Chief Imam,” the statement pointed out.
A group of persons reportedly went to the NDC Chairman in the region to apologise on behalf of the regional chief imam and thereafter giving the imam a 48-hour ultimatum which sounded contradictory, especially after claiming the apology was at his behest. “After hearing that shameful act, they came to rather apologise to the Chief Imam for what they did whereupon the Chief Imam reportedly castigated, reprimanded and drove them away from his house,” the statement said.
The Chief Imam, the statement went on, “said nothing wrong; he did not insult nor intend to disrespect anyone including former President John Dramani Mahama.”
The statement recalled how before the 2020 general election the former President visited the Chief Imam at his residence in Suame, and the Chief Imam prayed for him and wished him well in his endeavours,” adding that “the Chief Imam even went as far as telling His Excellency that they both came from the same Gonja stock. Why would the NDC supporters keep silent on that issue and the entering of a mosque with his shoes on?”
Explaining further, the statement said, “The Chief Imam was making a point to explain that if, the Vice President Dr. Bawumia visited a church and Sammy Gyamfi made a derogative remark about that (Sammy is not a Muslim and doesn’t know the teachings of Islam). The Ashanti Regional Chief Imam only referred to the issue of His Excellency Mahama entering a Mosque which has got nothing to do with the Islamic faith. Islam does not forbid nor make it ‘haram’ (forbidden) to enter a Mosque with shoes on. People should listen carefully to the video, especially the last remark of the Imam, he said in Twi.”
It has been the attitude of the Asawase NDC youth to skew remarks made by the Chief Imam of the region, the statement disclosed, adding that some NDC tribal heads and area imams lend support to such aberrations and to even curse President Akufo-Addo and the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Only the ulama or the Muslim leadership made up of chiefs and clerics can ask for the removal of an imam when such a personality deviates from the teachings of Islam, the statement pointed out, adding that the call for such an action to be meted against the regional chief imam is unfeasible.
Ustaz Ahmed Seidu is the Executive Secretary, Office of the Regional Chief Imam Council of Ulama and Imams.
By A.R. Gomda