National Chief Imam advocates neutrality of State apparatus

National Chief Imam Nuhu Sharabutu
National Chief Imam Nuhu Sharabutu

The National Chief Imam, Sheikh Dr. Osmanu Nuhu Sharabutu, has re-echoed the need for the state apparatus to remain neutral in the discharge of its constitutional mandate.

He said it was imperative that institutions such as the Electoral Commission (EC), judiciary and security agencies resolved to be independent and non-partisan in their work.

That, he said, would help create a disciplined and harmonious society to deepen the rule of law, democracy and effective governance for the well-being of the citizenry.

These were contained in a speech read on behalf of the National Chief Imam at a day’s sensitization workshop on peace and stability at the Kumasi Central Mosque at the weekend.

The event formed part of a programme initiated by the Office of the National Chief Imam (ONCI) dubbed “Election Adjudication Intervention”, which seeks to educate Ghanaians, particularly Muslim communities, on their roles in sustaining peace, following the recent verdict by the Supreme Court on the 2012 presidential election petition.

STAR-Ghana and some development partners are providing support for the programme, targeting Muslim students, youth groups, political parties, identifiable women’s groups, amongst others.

Sheikh Dr. Sharabutu observed that the nation had no choice than to support an open and transparent electoral system that guarantees the rights of all voters.

It was required of the state, he said, to ensure the active participation of the poor and needy, Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), women and the youth in the electoral system and democratic processes.

“Let us recognize that Ghana’s democracy cannot function effectively unless our laws are respected”, he noted, adding that it behoved the citizenry to play a watchdog role in “detecting and pre-empting early signs of social strife, conflict or violence in our local communities”.

The National Chief Imam cautioned against all manner of behaviours that had the potential to trigger social or political unrest.

Sultan Alhaji Umar Farouk, Ashanti Regional Head of the Zongo Community, asked government to step up development of the Zongo communities by providing the needed infrastructure to improve the living condition of the residents.

Sheikh Abdul Mumin Haroun, the Regional Chief Imam, urged Muslims to remain calm and be tolerant of each other, saying their perceived differences should not be the basis to cause confusion.

Alhaji Ahmed Nii Nortey, an aide to the National Chief Imam, said the ONCI had for some time now been giving scholarships to brilliant-but-needy students to pursue their educational careers.

He lauded the petitioners in the 2012 presidential elections for not taking the law into their own hands and rather sought legal redress, saying this would help engender peace in the country.

Dr. Francis Adu-Ababio, Dean of the KNUST Dental School, commended the Schools of Dentistry, University of Utah and Michigan, both from the United States, for their assistance in clinical and elective programmes to help build the capacity of the medical students.

Source: GNA

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