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General News of Sunday, 23 May 2021

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Bawumia, National Security Minister ‘concerned’ over Chief Imam succession comments

Godfred Dame with the Chief Imam during his visit on May 18, 2021 Godfred Dame with the Chief Imam during his visit on May 18, 2021

• Attorney General has clarified that government will not meddle in the internal leadership of faith-based groups

• Earlier, Vice President and National Security Minister expressed concerns over a post by a pseudo-Facebook account associated with Godfred Dame


Godfred Dame got the pseudo-Facebook account closed and cautioned the populace against falling prey to persons posing with an account in his name

Government is not interested in internal leadership elections for all faith-based groups according to Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Dame.

It is against this backdrop that the Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and the National Security Minister expressed concern last month when Dame was reported on social media to have made comments on the succession of the National Chief Imam.

Dame during a courtesy call by self-acclaimed leader of the Tijaniyya sect made comments which he said were deliberately twisted by some people on social media to give the impression that government was interested in who became the next National Chief Imam after Sheikh Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu.

“Surprisingly, about three days after the visit, I saw reported Twitter publications. I do not even use social media at all. I do not have Facebook account, I do not have a Twitter account so I was quite surprised.

“So it (reports) was of concern to me, it was of concern to the Vice-President even the National Security Minister and in the course of that, I caused investigations to be done and the Twitter account was closed,” he stressed during a courtesy call on the Imam on May 18, 2021.

The major Muslim sects in Ghana are Tijaniyya, the Ahlus Sunnah, the Ahmadiyya and the Shia, all of who have their respective national leadership structures.

The Chief Imam is leader of the Tijaniyya and also of all Muslims according to government. Talk around who succeeds the 102-year-old has often generated some controversy between those that aver that it is a sign of wishing him dead and others who see it as a sign of proper planning.

An official of Sharubutu’s office, spoke extensively about how the succession plan is laid out in the event that the Imam is unavailable.

But Dame stressed in later comments: “I would like to assure the National chief Imam, that the government does not involve itself in determining who the head of any mission or any faith is in the country.

“Indeed it will amount to what we call in law, excessive entanglement of state and religion if that were to be the case.”

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