A cross-section of dignitaries at the function addressed by Sheikh Arimiyao Shaibu, the National Chief Imam’s spokesperson, told politicians who used youth in the Zongo communities for their negative projects to back off because, as he put it, “Zongo youth were made for more important assignments.”
Speaking during a media engagement organized by the Light Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), at the Coconut Grove Hotel, last Tuesday, he did not mince words about the harsh rhetoric being spewed over the compilation of a new voters’ register by political actors.
“Response from political actors portends danger for our country as it appears that young people are being prepared for action,” he said.
Speaking passionately about the subject, he recalled how two Muslims appeared before the commission respectively as perpetrator and victim.
“Both of them did not have any good place within the scheme of things. Even for them to speak, they needed an interpreter, while all others who came there spoke on their own and with their lawyers,” he said.
The time, he said, was therefore right for Muslims to strongly reject any politician who sought to exploit the vulnerability of Muslim youth with the mindset of using violence as a means of political expression.
He added that “we must speak against this with the strongest of voice and say this across to Muslims and non-Muslims alike,” adding that the exploitation of Zongo youth for violence is unacceptable.
He called on all Muslims to reject messages of violence that came to them, as he hinged his position on Islam’s opposition to violence as enshrined in the scriptures.
Islam, he emphasized, was about peace and so, as he put it, “let us be peaceful.”
Vigilantism, now outlawed in the country, he said, came in different forms; and Muslims should take note and act accordingly to nip it in the bud.
On Covid-19, he observed that the protocols were being breached during social activities and advised that this behaviour should be reversed.
“I take inspiration from the President’s words that we should all take responsibility of ourselves,” he added.
On why the National Chief Imam has suspended prayers at the Abossey Okai Central Mosque, he said it would be impossible to apply the protocols given the number of persons who turned up for prayers there on Fridays.
In institutional mosques such as the King Abdul Aziz Mosque at Burma Camp and the Cantonments Police Mosque, including small facilities, however, the task of adhering to the hygiene protocols was not difficult, he said.
He also took issues with the politicization of Covid-19 information and fake news related to the subject.
These led to the challenges in adhering to the protocols, he said, adding that these have led to the return to what he describes as the old normalcy.
Present at the event was the Executive Secretary of the National Peace Council, George Amoh, who hinted about the implementation of a roadmap towards the achievement of a peaceful and violent-free election. Also present were Rear Admiral Muniru Tahiru (rtd), Chairman of the Zongo Development Fund and other dignitaries.