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General News Sun, 20 Jun 2021

Chief Imam encourages Muslims to participate fully in population census

The national Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu has urged Muslims to get counted in the ongoing national population census.

According to him, leadership of the Muslim community must sensitize every Muslim on the importance of the exercise in their lives as Ghanaians.

The national Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu on his part appealed to the government to make Muslim part of the council leading the charge for executing the census. He commended the Ghana statistical service for plans put in place for people to be counted despite the challenges that are usually associated with such exercises.

The spokesperson for the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Aremeyaw Shaibu, indicated that apart from the census data that will be used for decision making by government hence Muslims must endeavour to be part of the exercise to help identify the percentage of Muslims in Ghana.

He said ”People have problems with various data from the population census in the year 2000 and 2010 in respect to the percentage of Muslims but if we fail to participate in the exercise how do we reject these figures, so I will encourage all stakeholders here to sensitize every member of their community to participate fully.

The Chief Executive Officer for the Zongo Development Fund, Dr Arafat Sulemana Abdulai in an address advised Muslims in the Zongo communities to participate fully in the exercise in order to support the government in it’s development drive.

He said the allocation of national resources to localities in a country is dependent on the population of the area and so it is important for Muslims to appreciate the need for them to be counted in order not to be deprived of any benefits they are entitled to to to as citizens.

He added “We are therefore prepared to collaborate with other stakeholders to embark on education campaigns especially the Zongo communities for them to understand the need for such an exercise and its importance to our development as a people. For us, it will help us to even know the accurate number of people living in the Zongo’s to assist us plan towards our projects in these communities”

A national trainer of the 2021 population and housing census, Dr Nasiba Suala Tahiru said as a national exercise that will be used for decision making by the Government and other relevant agencies for the socio-economic development of the country, Muslim communities should participate actively in order to help the state ascertain the accurate population of Ghanaians.

She said “the 1992 constitution clearly states who a Ghanaian is and so people should desist from using their own judgement in describing who is a Ghanaian and not a Ghanaian. We have therefore trained our enumerators on their role in this exercise, not to use the names of people and other factors to determine their identity as Ghanaians but should go by the training they have been provided,” She stated.

Though people have expressed contrary views about the exercise, Dr Nasiba assured Ghanaians of ‘accurate and complete coverage’.

A senior lecturer of the University of Ghana, Dr Haruna Zagoon Sayeed reiterated the need for moslems to avail themselves to be counted to be able to help each citizen benefit equally from the national resources.

The event was put up by the Light Foundation to sensitize Ghanaian stakeholders on important national issues from various parts of the Muslim communities on the 2021 population and Housing census in Accra.

The last event was held in Kumasi on the 19th of June following a successful one in Accra on the 10th of June, the next edition comes up in Tamale on the 24th of June.
Source: Victor Morrison