Religion of Tuesday, 3 December 2013
The United Muslim Christian Forum (UMCF) is to embark on advocacy campaign to educate the public especially Muslims on the Marriages Act (1984 – 1985) – the Mohammendans Ordinance (CAP 129).
The campaign is to ensure that Muslim marriages in Ghana conform to requirements of Marriage of Mohammedans Ordinance.
It also seeks to expand the scope of Islamic marriage registration in Ghana and to cause the removal of all bottlenecks, statutory and traditional practices which inhibit the enforcement of CAP 129.
Alhaji Ahmed Nii Nortey, UMCF Executive Director, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview on Monday that even though the Marriage of Mohammedans Ordinance, Cap 129, is recognized under our laws it was hardly ever enforced.
He said the provisions for registration in the Ordinance were not known to many Muslims.
He said the project being sponsored by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the British High Commission would serve as an interventionist venture to expand the scope of registration of Islamic Marriages in Ghana and ensure strict compliance with the tenets of Marriage of Mohammedans Ordinance (CAP 129).
Alhaji Nii Nortey said currently CAP 129 was not being implemented by the state through the Registrar Generals Department (RGD) due to lack of a register and licensed Imams to officiate such marriages.
“It has created a situation where the various Islamic groupings issues different marriage certificate which is not recognized by the state,” he said.
He said it was important to work towards the regularization of Islamic marriages in the country to avoid future conflicts and litigations in the distribution of estates as a result of the death of a family member or a spouse.
Alhaji Nii Nortey said the UMCF was using the project to create public awareness about the lapses and appealed to duty bearers to ensure strict compliance with CAP 129 just as all other laws on marriages in Ghana.
Alhaji Nii Nortey said the UMCF would work with the appropriate legislative, traditional and Islamic bodies for the establishment and licenses of Imams (Islamic Priests) to be able to officiate marriages under the ambit of the Registrar General’s Department of Ghana.
He said the forum would also liaise with the RGD to ensure that a desk was created for the registration of Islamic marriage and ensure the enforcement of CAP 129.
Alhaji Nii Nortey appealed to Muslim groups to support the campaign to ensure that “our marriages are protected”.