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Zongos deserve something better than mortuaries, Nasaara co-ordinator tells Mahama

 The Nasara co-ordinator of the New Patriotic Party has kicked against the promise of “One Zongo, One Mortuary” by the NDC flagbearer, John Mahama

Haruna Futa, the Nasara co-ordinator of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), says Muslims deserve better initiatives which can transform zongos and bring socio-economic development to them, rather than mortuaries.

He was speaking to Kojo Mensah on The Asaase Breakfast Show (ABS) following the 2020 manifesto promise of “One Zongo, One Mortuary” by the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress, John Mahama.

“It’s haram. As Muslims, we don’t keep corpses,” said Futa. “What we are struggling with is facilitation for the doctors to release the corpse for you, but that has been solved by Dr Mahamadu Bawumia through his boss. We don’t keep our corpse in the mortuary, so there is no need for mortuaries,” he said.

“Before the introduction of free senior high education … over 90% of zongo youth couldn’t attend SHS just because of lack of money. Today, all the zongo youth, everybody is in SHS. That is what we need, not mortuaries in zongo communities.”

“Deliberate distortion”

John Mahama made the promise to build a mortuary in every zongo as one intervention aimed at addressing the historical inequalities between deprived urban zongos and other settlements.

“NDC couldn’t give us education,” Futa told the ABS host. “Today you have a president that has given us free senior education.

“If you say you love people, it’s by action. NPP is the only political party that loves Muslims and zongo communities. We know the party that loves us and that is NPP,” he said.

However, the chief 2020 campaign spokesman for the NDC flagbearer, James Agyenim Boateng, described the claim about zongos as mischievous, deliberately distorted and calculated to whip up anti-Muslim sentiment against the National Democratic Congress.

No consultation

Speaking on the same programme, Alhaji Abdel-Manan Abdel-Rahman, president of the National Coalition of Muslim Organisations, Ghana (COMOG), said that no political party had consulted the coalition on any initiative to build mortuaries for zongo communities.

“Unfortunately, we have not been consulted. Many political groups in Ghana do formulate policies without consulting the people they are targeting.

“In the first place, Muslims do not encourage keeping dead bodies. So, for that to be a priority, we don’t think so.”

He stressed that what the Muslim community has always advocated is a decent place in public mortuaries for preparing the Muslim dead for burial.

COMOG is an umbrella group of 50 active organisations across all 16 regions of the country and is not affiliated to any one sect.

Fred Dzakpata

Asaase Radio 99.5 – tune in or log on to broadcasts online.
Follow us on Twitter: @asaaseradio995
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