The National Zongo Caucus of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has called on Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and the entire governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) to render an unqualified apology to the National Chief Imam, Shaikh Dr Osman Nuhu Sharubutu for the “embarrassment” caused him during the Maulid – the celebration of the birth of Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W).
In a statement signed by the Communication Officer of the National Zango Caucus of the NDC, Alhaji Mohammed Naziru and released on Sunday, 24 November 2019, the group said the NPP flouted a directive by the Chief Imam not to “entertain any party politics” at the just-ended event.
According to the Caucus, all political parties who were invited to the event were notified “by the Organising Committee of the Maulid, of the clear directives of the National Chief Imam not to turn the obvious religious event into partisan politics in order to maintain the national character of the annual event.”
The statement noted that the NDC, “in reverence” to the high office of the National Chief Imam and in line with its position to call for a “No Vote in the upcoming referendum to avoid the near-poisoning of everything in the country with partisan politics, adhered to the directives of the National Chief Imam.”
The Caucus, however, said to its dismay, “the Vice-President of the Republic of Ghana” was “ushered into the event by NPP fanatics clouded in NPP party colours singing and chanting NPP slogans with megaphones”, a situation which, to the group, signifies “a well-orchestrated plan to defy the Chief Imam”, which, it said, prompted the MC of the event to reprimand Dr Bawumia’s entourage, “albeit after the harm had been done and the Vice-President taken his seat.”
The Caucus further said the action of the NPP “is a blatant disrespect of the Chief Imam” as well as the Muslim Ummah.
It is a “gross violation of a simple and befitting directive by the National Chief Imam by no less a person than the Vice-President of the Republic, who should know better” about the need to make national events “devoid of partisanship” and, therefore, it goes to confirm the NDC Zongo Caucus’ “strong-held belief” that it was a “dress rehearsal by the NPP to continue to disregard the rules of engagement in all national events, especially the upcoming 2020 elections, in order to skew the outcome” of the polls.
“This should serve as a wake-up call to all well-meaning Ghanaians to call the NPP to order and save our dear country Ghana from any further embarrassment, both locally and internationally”, the Caucus said and demanded “an unqualified apology from the Vice-President and the entire NPP for the embarrassment caused the National Chief Imam, the Muslim Ummah and the entire nation in the presence of foreign diplomats and some international media.”
It, however, extended its “sincere appreciation to all for the rousing welcome accorded the former President and flag bearer of the NDC for the 2020 national elections” at the same event.