Wesley Girls’ No Fasting Saga: Let The Relevant State Institutions Deal With It-Former Zongo Minister 

Boniface Abubakar Saddique Boniface Abubakar Saddique

The former Minister for the defunct Ministry Inner -City and Zongo Development (MICZ), a tailor-made Ministry established by President Akufo-Addo for spearheading developments in the Zongo communities, has appealed to the leadership of the Muslim community to let relevant state institutions deal with the matter of the Wesley Girls' Senior High School preventing Muslim students from partaking in the just ended Ramadan exercise.

According to the former Minister who superintended over the creation of the Zongo Ministry, this is the time for all Muslim sects to exercise restraint for the relevant state institutions to take up the matter for amicable settlement.

Alhaji Abubakar Saddique Boniface, made this appeal speaking in an interview with the media after the Eid-ul-Fitr prayers held at Madina Central Mosque in the Greater Accra Region.

Many Muslims across the country started fasting at an early age of eight so, it is out of place for a school to prevent students who are as old as nineteen and more from fasting, if they care to know.

As a boy, I started fasting at a tender age in primary school before entering a secondary in the Northern Regional capital, Tamale and it has a Mosque and a Church, he said.

He pointed that this is the time for all Muslims across the country to exercise extreme restraint in the face of the religious discrimination exhibited at one of the revered Christian schools in the country.

He, however, reminded the members of the Coalition of Muslims Organization, Ghana (COMOG) that the calls for the removal of the Headteacher of Wesley Girls' High School in the Central Region is out of place, adding that there are relevant state institutions responsible for dealing with such issues anytime it rears its ugly head in the country.

The group, COMOG last Wednesday held a press conference demanding the immediate removal of the Headteacher of the school for her decision in preventing the Muslim students from partaking in the Ramadan exercise.

In view of this, the former Zongo Minister and former Member of Parliament(MP) for Madina Constituency in the Greater Accra Region on the ticket of the governing New Patriotic Party, appealed to his colleagues to let the state institutions deal with the matter.

This is not a personal issue with the Headteacher, but a national issue that must be dealt with by the appropriate state institutions to let peace prevail in the country, he stressed.

He said what happened in the school, has the potential to trigger religious tension between Christians and Muslims in the country.

He argued that the actions of the school may be in contravention of the tenets of the 1992 Constitution in relation to freedom of association, worship and the right to manifest one's religious beliefs.

He noted that before independence Ghanaians Christians and Muslims learnt to live with each other.

Ghanaians have over the years learnt to tolerate each others' religious views even in the face of extreme provocations, he said.

He added it is only in Ghana that 'you have Christians renting or sharing their properties with Muslims and vice versa.

This situation of Christians and Muslims leaving together on the same compound cannot happen in neighbouring Nigeria, he reminded the management of the school.

This, he explained has continued for centuries and this is not the time for this enviable feat chalked in terms of religious tolerance has to be thrown to the dogs.

He took this opportunity to commend the Muslim Caucus in Parliament for their swift intervention in engaging in solemn discussions with the leadership of the Methodist Church, Ghana.

Even though the decision by the school to prevent the Muslim students from partaking in the Ramdan exercise may seem childish, but a decision has the potential to create religious intolerance in the country.

He said this childish decision can trigger the fundamental Muslims to take the issues into their own hands.

As a conflict resolution person, I can say that this childish decision on the part of the school can push this lovely country up in religious intolerance, if not properly managed.

Source: www.theheraldghana.com