Koforidua Central Mosque closed down

Sat, 29 Dec 2007 Source: GNA

Koforidua, Dec. 29, GNA - The Koforidua Central Mosque was on Friday closed down to avert a possible clash between supporters of the Chief Imam, Alhaji Amdani and supporters of the head of the Eastern Regional Muslim Council, Alhaji Tijani, as to who should lead Friday prayers.

The Central Mosque and its surroundings were heavily patrolled by policemen led by the Municipal Police Commander, Deputy Superintendent of Police John Naami following a directive by the New Juaben Municipal Security Council (NJMSC) for the mosque to be closed for Friday prayers to ensure peace and security in the Municipality.

According to the Municipal Chief Executive, Nana Kwasi Adjei-Boateng, said sometime ago the Regional Chief Imam Alhaji Amdani was asked by the Moslem Council to step down on grounds of ill health. He said after almost two years the Chief Imam told the council that he was now well and therefore wanted to take up his duties as the Chief Imam but was refused and this generated mistrust between the faction of the Imam and the Moslem Council.

Nana Adjei-Boateng said later at a meeting to resolve the issue, one of the Moslem chiefs openly accused the Chief Imam of being a drunkard hence the resolve of the council to relieve him of his duties as the Chief Imam. This did not go down well with Alhaji Amdani so he issued a writ of summons at the Koforidua High Court against the said chief and the entire council for maligning him and sought an injunction against Alhaji Tijani who had been leading prayers at the mosque since he was asked to step down.

The court granted a 10-day injunction against the Moslem Council and that allowed the Chief Imam to assume his duty and therefore presided over the last Eid-Ul-Adha celebration but the 10 days elapsed on Wednesday.

Nana Adjei-Boateng said after an emergency meeting on Thursday with all the stakeholders at a NJMSC meeting to review the situation, it was agreed that the mosque should be closed until the case before the high court was heard and determined and a substantive Imam was appointed. Mr Naami said following the directive the police went to all the Muslim communities to announce to them not to come to the mosque and they obeyed.

All other mosques in the Municipality were opened for prayers.

Source: GNA