“The President did not err in coming out with restrictions in managing the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic in Ghana without consulting religious leaders.”
Tawheed Radio (Takoradi) – Those are the words of the chief of the Songhai community in the Western Region, Alhaji Habib Yusuf Wangaro II as he hailed the president for his swift intervention in bringing restrictions on the coronavirus issues.
He spoke exclusively with Tawheed Radio.
According to Chief Wangaro, it is the right and prerogative of the president, vested in him by the constitution of Ghana to take any decision he deems fit to help in curbing the coronavirus menace, “hence I don’t have any qualms on his decision.” He said. “our safety is important to him hence that move.
Asked on whether this directive will not contradict the obligation of praying in congregation as stipulated in Islam, Chief Wangaro had this to say, “This falls under the category of necessity. When issues of such alarming proportions arrive, certain decisions are taken to ensure safety. This is Islamically acceptable and encouraged.”
In a communique, the Ghana Charismatic Bishops’ Conference stated their concern over the president’s “arbitrary closure of churches and places of worship without consultation or discussion for four weeks,” a move they say, “smacks of a disregard of the importance of the church’s role in the country.”
According the Bishops, “The disregard of the place of this powerful social and religious institution, to which over 70% of Ghanaian belong, is wrong.”
However, Chief Wangaro has a contrary view. “The directives did not stop us from praying, it just said we must not congregate above a certain number. So Islam accepts that we pray in our various homes under such circumstance.” He explained.
Sheikh Wangaro, who doubles as the Imam of ASWAJ in the Sekondi District of the Western Region and proprietor of Ilmun Naafi Islamic School, has, through a live Facebook broadcast called upon all to abide by the presidential directives which have the backing of the leadership of the Muslim community including ASWAJ.
“All of us must do our best to abide by these directives whilst believing that nothing can happen to us without the permission of Allah,” he said.
He however expressed worry over the presidential decision to allow clubs to run whilst religious congregations are outlawed. “How can you allow a satanic and evil activity to run whilst a congregation that is held for the pleasure of the Creator is stopped?” he wondered.
To him, all clubs, pubs and entertainment places must also be closed down till further notice.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia and other Islamic countries have issued fatwas directing all mosques to close until further notice. No congregational prayer is to be held, including the Jummah (Friday) prayers.