JOINT CELEBRATIONS HAS RELIGIOUS SIGNIFICANCE
BY: MUSAH YAHAYA JAFARU
THE National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu, has observed that the joint celebration of the Eid Fitr and the centenary celebration of Ghana’s first President, Dr. Nkrumah has a religious significance.
He said such religious significance required Ghanaians to let the foundation of unity laid by the first President to guide them in all their dealings.
He specifically urged Muslims to extend the spirit of forgiveness sharing and unity that they had imbibed during the period of 30-day period of fasting to all Ghanaians.
He, therefore, urged Mamprusis and Kusasis and all citizens of all the conflict areas to take a cue from Nkrumah’s drive for unity and the spirit of togetherness the Eid celebration professed, that is, to forgive one another and live in peace.
Sheik Sharubutu told the Daily Graphic through his administrative manager, Alhaji Adam Musah Abubarkar, that Dr. Nkrumah symbolized unity in Ghana and in Africa in general.
“Whether Muslims, Christians or Traditionalists, we are compelled to show appreciation to Allah for giving us such a personality,” he said.
Sheikh Sharubutu said Dr. Nkrumah promoted unity among the various religious faiths and ethnic groups in the country, without any discrimination.
For instance, Dr. Nkrumah was able to unite Ghanaians through the introduction of free education in the northern and southern parts of the country.
Sheikh Sharubutu explained that people in the south who attended schools in the north and vice versa developed some sense of unity and this promoted intermarriage between them.
He said Dr. Nkrumah also offered free healthcare to all Ghanaians, irrespective of their religious or ethnic affiliations, while all Ghanaians were given equal opportunity in all sectors of the economy.
For instance, he said, Dr. Nkrumah had allocated a land at Nkrumah circle for the construction of a mosque, besides other overtures extended to Muslims.
On the African front Sheikh Sharubutu said Dr. Nkrumah championed the cause of African unity.
He said Nkrumah believed that with unity, Africa could stand on its own and propel its socio-economic development without depending on the west.
Therefore, Sheikh Sharubutu said Ghanaians needed to let the Nkrumah’s centenary celebration rekindle their sense of unity and do all that they could to protect the prevailing peace in the country.
He said it was only through unity that Ghanaians could enjoy peace, which could lead to the development of the country.
Sheikh Sharubutu said the Eid was also a period of forgiveness, togetherness and sharing among Muslims.
He reminded Muslims that the Qur’an abhorred infighting among Muslims and also spoke against Muslims fighting with other religious faiths.
Sheikh Sharubutu said since both Christians and Muslims claim to be the descendants of Abraham, and his two sons–Ishmael and Isaac-they are one people.
He, therefore, asked Muslims and Ghanaians in general to forgive one another and co-exist peacefully, saying, “We are all children of Adam and we need social unity among Muslims and Christians in the country.”
Sheikh Sharubutu urged all political parties to shun antagonism and support the Government’s agenda of developing the country, since that was their collective commitment to the nation.
He said once elections were over, political parties needed to begin to see themselves as Ghanaians first before any other thing, saying that “after the elections, come back as Ghanaians and assist the one in power in order to develop the country”.
That, he said, was in line with Dr. Nkrumah’s vision of moving the country forward.
DAILY GRAPHIC - Page: 3 Monday, September 21, 2009