Cathedral donation: Chief Imam’s advisors have done him no good – Haruna Attah

A Former Ghana’s High Commissioner to Namibia and Botswana, Amb. Alhaji Abdul-Rahman Harruna Attah has said the National Chief Imam Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharabutu was wrong in his decision to contribute to the national cathedral project.

He said this act would sully the reverential status of the National Chief Imam although it was his prerogative to do so and should not be denied the right of expressing it.

Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu made the GHC 50,000 contribution on Thursday August 26.

Ghanaians have been called upon to contribute funds to the project.

Vice president Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has called on the Presbyterian Church of Ghana and other faith-based organizations to voluntarily contribute funds to build the national cathedral.

Dr Bawumia is confident the building of the cathedral will uplift the glory of God.

He was speaking when he joined the Adabraka Official Town branch of the Presbyterian church of Ghana to celebrate the 30 years of ministry of the District Minister Rev. Kwadwo Owusu Sarpong in Accra on Sunday August 22.

“I want to make one point before I sit down. As you all know there are efforts to build a national cathedral. It is very important that we build the cathedral, it is a voluntary exercise, anyone who wants to contribute can contribute. I have contributed and I will contribute more so I encourage everybody to think about it and let us build it. It is not for anybody, it is for Ghana and for the glory of God”

But an an article on the cathedral project, Ambassador Haruna Attah said “As I was completing this syndication, the entire issue of the cathedral of doom was blown wide open with the announcement that the National Chief Imam (NCI) had donated a certain amount of money towards the Nana Addo Christocentric edifice.

“As a citizen, it is his prerogative and he should not be denied the right of expressing it but then, other citizens should not also be denied their rights to “like” or “dislike” – apologies to social media jargon. But I do not agree with him and his gesture is not representative of all of Ghana’s Muslims.

“With his centenarian years, he has been ennobled and his advisors should have insulated him from acts that would sully his reverential status. Now they have opened him up to the barbs of society, which is unfair. His advisors have done him no good. I remember many years ago, this same kind of misadvise led him to be a guest at an event in which the organizers insensitively made him present an award related to one of Ghana’s breweries. I was there! The embarrassment was deep, undeserved and unfair!

“Not surprisingly, with this most recent faux pas, the social media has been agog and my WhatsApp has lit up with many comments, a few of which I share below:

*“The National Chief Imamship is a creation of the Rawlings Era. For a long time after its creation the various imams especially in the North were independent of the office.”

*“Christian denominations like the Catholic Church have more resources than Muslims. Have they made any such a donation? This donation is coming straight from Jubilee House and specifically Dr Mahmud to bolster his image before the church.”

*“Ahl Sunna only tolerates him but do not defer to him on issues of creed or rituals. They follow the Wahabi Salafist puritan version whilst the NCI goes on the more permissive and mystic inclined Sufi school.”

*“His Muslim umma are suffering and beggars on the street and he has that amount to donate for building of a cathedral or he is also doing politics.”

*“For sure. I don’t think the Honourable Chief Imam will cheapen himself and donate for this type of project. His advisors will have even kicked against it.”

*“I have always held the position that whereas Late Alhaji Aliu Mahama was a thorough bred Muslim before coming into politics, our younger brother [Bawumia] found Islam when he came into politics. His appreciation of the religion remains pedestrian at best and warped at the extreme.”

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