The Zongo Movement for Development (ZOMOD), a Zongo Development advocacy group, has hit out at former President John Mahama for what it calls “flagrant display of disrespect towards His Eminence Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu.”
In a press release issued in Accra, the group accused Mr. Mahama of disrespecting the National Chief Imam when he turned his purported introduction of his running mate, Prof. Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang into a rally in the presence of the Chief Imam at his residence.
“The Zongo Movement for Development, ZOMOD has noted with shock the flagrant display of disrespect towards His Eminence Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu by former President John Dramani Mahama and his Running Mate Prof. Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang on Wednesday August 12, 2020, at his residence in Fadama,” the statement said.
“Former President Mahama, under the guise of visiting His Eminence to introduce to him his running mate, Prof. Jane Opoku-Agyemang, ended up with a mini rally at the residence of the National Chief Imam with organised supporters who were bussed to the place.”
“We find this behaviour by the former President and his team not only disrespectful to the National Chief Imam and his Office, but also appaling and unbecoming of one who ought to know better.”
The group underlined the independence and unifying status of the Chief Imam in the nation, adding that that the former President sought to deliberately taint the Chief Imam’s status by busing his supporters to the Chief Imam’s residence to enhance his political campaign.
“The National Chief Imam is a revered cleric, a national icon, a champion of diversity and politically neutral whose presence should be treated with decorum, and not with mass political fanfare as displayed by former President Mahama and his entourage.
All manner of persons and political leaders do visit the Chief Imam, but never have we seen such display of disrespect.”
“By bussing supporters to his residence and spontaneouly chanting party songs in front of the National Chief Imam and other Eminent Imams, the former President and his team deliberately set up the revered Chief Imam for propaganda effect to enhance his political campaign.
The group said Mahama had behaved deliberately because he had behaved differently to different leaders in similar situations.
“Just a few hours before Mr. Mahama went to the Chief Imam’s residence for his rally, he had called on the leadership of the Christian community and he didn’t dare display such disrespect towards them,” said the group.
“Why did he choose to bus people to the Chief Imam’s residence and not to other places he had been introducing his running mate like traditional rulers and the Christian community?”
“For turning what should have been an indoor introduction to a cacophonous political rally in fron of His Eminence, former President Mahama must apologise to him, his office and the Muslim community.”
Former President Mahama today visited the Christian community and Muslim community in Accra to introduce his running mate to them.
Meanwhile, former President Mahama’s mini rally has incurred the wrath of a section of the Muslim community.
Many took to social media on Wednesday afternoon to express anger and disgust.
A Personal Assistant to the National Chief Imam, Alhaji Huzaiman Osman expressed his disgust on his Facebook page.
“You don’t hold a political rally in the name of introducing a running mate to the Muslim community and you expect me to be around when you know I oppose all political rallies at the residence of His Eminence because it is not right,” the PA who appears to have boycotted the event wrote on Facebook.
One Seidu Halidu wondered who has been advising former President Mahama.
“I am surprised that for all his experience, Mahama didn’t realise that it was wrong to go and introduce his running mate to the Chief Imam in the manner he did at his residence. Who has been advising him.?”
It appeared a massive condemnation of the former President. Some of his supporters, however, took turns to launch tirades at those who dared criticise the rally at the Chief Imam’s residence.