Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister has urged Muslims in the country to emulate the Quaranic traits and life values of the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu.
“Sheikh Sharubutu has demonstrated over the years that he is the Mansa Musa of our generation.
“He is one of the cradles of religious tolerance, and this has sustained the peace we are enjoying in the country and his support towards the National Cathedral project is not distant of example”, the Regional Minister stated.
Madam Owusu-Banahene gave the advice when she addressed the closing session of the first Conference of Regional Chiefs Imams in Sunyani.
The three-day conference was on the theme, “the role of Imams in development” and attended by Chiefs Imams drawn from all the 16 regions in the country as well as Muslim leaders and scholars.
Madam Owusu-Banahene said peace remained a fundamental principle and pillar of Islam, and called on Muslims to be agents of peace by ensuring peaceful co-existence with other religious sects.
She called on the conference to inspire the Muslim youth to be hardworking, peaceful in pursuit and also inculcate in them the correct understanding of Islam with the hope that they would not fall prey to misguided teachings to disturb the peace and retard national development.
The Regional Minister explained the government recognized and cared for the Muslim community and had since 2017 introduced a number of interventions to transform the Zongos, predominately made up of Muslims.
Madam Owusu-Banahene said the Zongo Development Fund had completed more than 140 projects in areas of classroom blocks, health facilities, bridges, drainage systems, sports stadia and libraries.
The government has also set up a scholarship scheme to help brilliant but needy students in the Zongos to study medicine abroad.
This, in addition to other numerous policy interventions, the Regional Minister said clearly underscored the government’s commitment to bridging the development gap between parts of the country and the Zongo areas.
Sheikh Armiyao Shubib, the Spokesperson to the National Chief Imam said Imams were leaders as far as Islam was concerned, and asked them to exhibit their religious duties in diligence to promote the Islamic religion.
He said Islam had come to stay and asked the Imams to impact the Muslim communities positively.
Sheikh Shubib said the National Chief Imam remained the source of pride of Muslims in the country and underlined the importance for Muslims to conduct themselves responsibly in order not to dent the hard won reputation of Sheikh Sharubutu and the image of Islam in general.
He said the Islamic religion required a constitution to direct the structures and govern the affairs of and also outline a succession plan for the religion and tasked the Imams to deliberate and put such structures in place.
“You are the leaders and whatever you say nobody can dispute it. So now is the time you must work for us to have a constitution and ensure that every Muslim abide by the constitution”, Sheikh Shubib told the conference.
Sheikh Zakaria Ibrahim, the Dormaa Municipal Chief Imam called on the Imams to champion peace, unity and social cohesion in their respective communities for development to thrive.