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General News of Saturday, 24 October 2020


Mortuaries not a priority for zongos – Bawumia

Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia

Mortuaries are a misplaced priority for inner-city Muslim communities, Vice-President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has said.

He told Techiman-based Link FM in the Bono East Region that: “On the balance of priorities, mortuaries, for zongos, are not a priority”.

“When a Muslim dies, the body is not kept at the mortuary, it is buried immediately, so, if you want to do something to help the zongo communities, mortuaries are not a priority for them.

“That is why the Ashanti Regional Chief Imam said Muslims don’t want mortuaries but schools to educate their children, so, if you have money to help the zongo communities, mortuaries are not what they want built for them, they would rather have schools from which they can all benefit”, he said.

Earlier in September this year, Dr Bawumia said unlike the biggest opposition party, the NDC which has promised to build mortuaries in the zongo communities in accordance with Islamic custom, the Akufo-Addo government will rather furnish Muslim-dominated communities with model schools, if they are re-elected.

Speaking at the conference of the National Council of Fulani Chiefs, Dr Bawumia said: “We are going to build a model senior high school in the Zongo community in every region, so, we will start with 16 model SHSs so that our children will have an opportunity to attend those schools”.

“That will be the start for next year...Our policy is not one Zongo, one mortuary. We are not thinking of mortuary. We are thinking of schools; we want to develop our Zongos with schools and not mortuary”, the Vice-President said.

Just recently, the Chief Imam of the Eastern Region also indicated that mortuaries are not necessities for zongo communities.

Speaking to CTV News, Sheikh Amdani said establishing morgues in Zongo communities is needless because it does not contribute to development.

“We need schools, hospitals, ICT facilities and libraries to bring development and not mortuaries,” he said.

Page 82 of the People’s Manifesto of the NDC clearly spells out that the next NDC government will “facilitate the establishment of mortuaries in accordance with Islamic customs and practices and collaborate with the Ministry of Health to set up focal teams responsible for procedures that are compliant with Islamic Customs and practices at all public mortuaries”.

Sheikh Amdani further said that building of mortuaries to store Muslim corpses before burial is not as important as “providing a special place to bathe dead bodies before laying them to rest.”

He reiterated that developing the Zongos through education is better than establishing mortuaries.

Meanwhile, a non-partisan and apolitical umbrella Muslim organisation known as the Federation of Muslim Councils (FMC), has said it is in support of any moves to establish mortuaries to cater to Muslim corpses in accordance to Islamic traditions must be embraced by all Muslims.

A statement signed by the Secretary-General of the group, Alhajj Muhammad Amir Kpakpo Addo on Friday, 25 September 2020, indicated that the campaign promise made by the NDC “smacks of good thoughts for Muslims” and must be welcomed, adding: “It is, therefore, disingenuous of any Muslim to stand in the way of Islam by impugning on the promise to provide decent and dignifying last respect to the Muslim dead regardless who is making the promise.”

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