Sheikh Dr. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, the Minister for Inner-City Affairs and Zongo Development, has stated that Muslims within the Zongo communities do not need mortuaries. He was responding to a campaign promise by the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
According to Abdul-Hamid, per the Islamic tradition, Muslims are not supposed to keep dead bodies for a long time, “so, clearly, we don’t even need mortuaries”.
Explaining his position on Citi News, Dr Abdul-Hamid told listeners that in Tamale, a predominantly Muslim community, a dead body is hardly seen in the morgues.
The Zongo Affairs Minister told listeners that as part of his official duties, he at least engages hospital authorities for the release of dead bodies of Muslims to their families.
“If you are sent to a hospital and in less than 24 hours you die, the law mandates the hospital to conduct an autopsy [and] determine the cause of your death.
Normally, if you are already admitted in a hospital for about a week or two the doctors know what they have been treating you for and so when you die, it’s easier for your body to be released to your family,” he added.
Dr. Abdul-Hamid jabbed the major opposition party that instead of championing a mortuary for Muslims, they should have been saying “When we come into power, we will establish a regime within the hospitals that allows Muslim bodies to the released early for them to do their burial”.
It was reported that, John Dramani Mahama had said that if he is elected President, he will be providing Muslim communities with mortuaries.
According to the NDC, such reports are misleading and inaccurate.
A statement signed by James Agyenim-Boateng, the NDC’s campaign spokesperson denied that reportage.
Parts of the NDC rejoinder said: "The attention of the JOHN MAHAMA 2020 Campaign has been drawn to a false, misleading and inaccurate claims in publications carried by sections of the online media titled “2020 elections: Mahama promises more mortuaries for Zongo communities.”
"For the records, the presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr. John Dramani Mahama, during a live interview with TV XYZ and Woezor TV, took the opportunity to highlight his party’s proposed interventions in the People’s Manifesto for Zongos and Deprived Urban Settlements."
According to the statement, John Mahama only spoke about the party's plans to lessen “the burden of bereaved Muslims by treating their deceased loved ones in line with accepted practices of the Islamic faith".