From Issah Alhassan, Kumasi
MUSLIMS IN Ghana have organised a special prayer programme to seek God’s divine intervention as the country prepares to receive its first oil in commercial quantities tomorrow.
The solemn occasion, which was attended by a cross-section of the Muslim leadership in the country, including the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Usman Nuhu Sharabutu, was purposely held to usher in the rich mineral, and to ask for God’s help and protection towards the management of the product.
Ghana joins the league of oil rich countries tomorrow, amidst controversies over the management of proceeds to be accrued from sale of the product.
Concerns have been raised about whether the presence of the mineral would be a source of blessing or a curse, considering the negative effects the product has had on neighbouring African countries like Nigeria.
The special prayer session was therefore organised to request the intervention of God, in order to avoid all pestilence and evil forces that are likely to befall the country, with respect to the oil.
The National Chief Imam, Sheikh Usman Nuhu Sharabutu, who led the unique prayers at the Central Mosque in Kumasi, said Ghanaians must give thanks and glory to God Almighty for endowing the country with rich mineral resources.
The Chief Imam indicated that God had abundantly blessed Ghana, not because of its people, but because of his love and mercy, and noted that the only way to repay him for his benevolence was to give thanks and praises to him.
Sheikh Nuhu Sharabutu said the question of whether the country would benefit from the oil or not, would depend on the will and commitment of leaders of this country.
He therefore, pleaded on the authorities to efficiently manage the proceeds from the oil to avoid and disturbances.
The National Chief Imam observed that Ghana must use the management of the oil to once again prove to the world that its accolade as the champion of African excellence was no fluke.
“We need to prove to the world that the best can come from Africa, and it must start from our country, Ghana,” Sheikh Nuhu Sharabutu stressed.
He therefore, prayed to God to continue to guide the country on the path of peace and harmony.
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Alhaji Collins Dauda, who represented the Vice President, His Excellency John Mahama, said the government was committed to ensuring transparency and accountability in the management of the oil.
He said proper mechanisms had been put in place to ensure that the people of Ghana reaped maximum benefits from the proceeds, stressing, “The government would not deprive any region or individual its fair share of the product.”
Collins Dauda noted what was important, as far as the oil was concerned, was to focus on the best that the country could realise from it, and not to argue over its collaterisation.
The Minister stated that the government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) appreciates the role and efforts of religious bodies towards ensuring peace and development in the country, and pledged that the government would continue to involve such bodies in the day-to-day running of the country.
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr. Kofi Opoku Manu, commended the Muslim leadership for the initiative, and urged them to continue to seek God’s divine intervention in all matters affecting the country.
The occasion was also used to say prayers for all Ghanaians as we enter the New Year.