WE’RE GRATEFUL FOR LIFTING THE LOCKDOWN” – CHIEF IMAM, MUSLIM LEADERS TO PRESIDENT AKUFO-ADDO.
The National Chief Imam, Sheikh Dr. Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, has
commended the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo,
for lifting the partial lockdown of Accra, Kumasi, Tema and Kasoa.
Speaking on behalf of the Chief Imam, Sheikh Aremeyaw Shuaib, his
spokesperson, said that “we have also observed how you have been
reviewing the various measures in order to contain and also curtail the
further spread of the disease, up to the very strict restrictions you
have taken, including those you have already mentioned like closing of
our borders, restricting meetings of religious gatherings. It was so
difficult for you to take but you have done it.”
him, “We are happy, even including the final lifting of the lock down in
order to allow movement of people across. We are grateful to you”.
The Chief Imam made known on Wednesday, 22nd April, 2020, when
President Akufo-Addo held a meeting with leaders of the Muslim community
to brief them on the rationale behind the lifting of the partial
lockdown of Accra, Tema, Kumasi and Kasoa, and also to explain further
the measures being taken by Government to combat the pandemic.
Placing on record their commendation for “the able leadership that you
have exhibited, obvious for everyone to see, since this very disturbing
phenomenon raised its head in our country”, Sheikh Aremeyaw Shuaib noted
that “we have had no alternative but to accept and adhere to the
directives you gave us, especially those that have to do with the
restrictions on meetings.”
He noted further that, in complying to
the President’s directives, The Chief Imam organized a press
conference, with the support of leaders of the Muslim sects, to inform
and further direct what Muslims should also do to effect and adhere to
the directives given by the President.
“As you have already
observed yourself, we are happy that Muslims all over the country also
adhered to the directions that were given. Apart from the initial
difficulties we had with a few of the Imams, who probably did not
understand the import of the whole directives and encouragements, we can
say with all confidence that all the Imams are adhering to the
directives, and no Mosque is administering the Jumah prayer,” Sheikh
Aremeyaw Shuaib added.
With Ramadan approaching, to be followed by
Eid, the spokesperson to the Chief Imam noted that “our religion is a
flexible religion, it is moderate and it contextualizes issues. So,
whatever the situation is, with the views that will come up from here,
if we have to continue, we will follow you.”
He continued, “We
have observed the empathy on your face anytime you come up to speak, I
could read from your face the difficulty with which you speak to us and I
am sure it is the same case for many of us who are here. We will never
leave you. You are assured of our support.”
On behalf of the
Chief Imam, and on behalf of the leaders of the Muslim Groups gathered, a
request was made to the President “for us to have a live broadcast of
our call to prayer during the breaking of the fast, so that they can
hear the sound of the call to prayer. It will give them some
Additionally, with Muslims missing the teachings
of the Quran, he also appealed to the President to inquire into
possibility of a nationwide telecast of the Chief Imam’s daily broadcast
from 12pm to 1pm each day of the Ramadan.
“It will be something
of joy for many of the Muslims. It will also make them feel like they
are getting what they missed in one way or the other. It is also
strategic because it gives us the opportunity to continue the education,
on continuous washing of hands, avoiding assemblies that will aid the
transmission of the disease, issues of sanitation which we will need to
continue with or without COVID-19,” he added.