General News of Saturday, 18 August 2012
Source: Daily Graphic
The Ashanti Regional Security Council (REGSEC) is preparing tight security for the Zongo areas of Kumasi during the celebration of Eid-Ul-Fitr as tension builds up in the Muslim community over who is qualified to play leading roles in the performance of the “gangara” rituals.
According to REGSEC, it had picked up information that factions in the chieftaincy crisis at the Zongo were preparing to attack each other over the performance of the gangara, a situation that demanded proactive measures to protect lives and property.
The gangara is a special celebration performed after the morning prayers of Eid-Ul-Fitr.
It is highly cherished by the Muslim community. During the celebration recognized chiefs of the recognized ethnic groups in the Zongo communities mount horses and go on processions in the streets with their subjects.
Spokesman for the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Francis Dodovi, toldgraphic.com.gh Friday that security information had it that some non-recognised chiefs were preparing to mount horses in contravention of Islamic norms and tradition.
Consequently, the REGSEC went into an emergency meeting Thursday at which it decided that only the Sarkin Zongo and other recognised chiefs would be allowed to celebrate the gangara.
The Kumasi Zongo had seen some violent clashes relating to chieftaincy in the past.
Even though the situation had been controlled in recent years, there appeared to be an uneasy calm in the area in the days leading to the Eid-ul-Fitr.
Consequently, Mr Dodovi said, the REGSEC had no option but to ensure that peace was maintained for a successful celebration of the Islamic festival.
He indicated that security would be provided by the police and military cautioning that any troubleshooter would not be spared.
He also denied reports that the REGSEC had banned the celebration of the Islamic festival in Kumasi as a result of the tension.
Meanwhile, the National House of Chiefs has sent a message of congratulations to the Muslim community on the occasion of the celebration of Eid-Ul-Fitr.
A statement signed by the President of the House, Wulugu Naba Pugansoa, Naa Prof. John S. Nabila, urged Muslims to proclaim the significance of Eid-Ul-Fitr as God’s love to mankind, love for one another and love for the country.
As the nation progressed to the December elections, the house urged Muslims to pray to God to grant Ghana peaceful elections.
“There is no other Ghana anywhere for us. Those who have negative intentions to forment trouble during and after the elections are advised to quickly desist from such attitude,” the statement urged.