A Muslim community leader, Sheikh Aremeyaw Shaibu, is doubtful that Zongo communities around the country will see any significant transformation under the incoming New Patriotic Party (NPP) government.
The two leading political parties made promises in the electioneering period in a bid to woo voters of the Zongo communities.While the NDC promised to make the study of Arabic examinable, the NPP promised to transform Zongos through a Zongo Development Fund.
But Sheikh Aremeyaw Shaibu, who also doubles as the Spokesperson for the National Chief Imam, said things might remain the same.
“I have lived my life in this country across different political dispensations. I challenge everyone to tell me exactly what has changed. Not much has changed. The Muslim community, particularly the Zongo remains a disadvantaged community and that is why there is so much poverty, there is so much redundancy and lack of progress and it is reflecting in the attitudes of the people within the Zongo.”
He believes various governments have resorted to what he calls the culture of “tokenism” to exploit the Zongo communities for their benefit.
“Even the politicians themselves underrate the intelligence of our leaders and that is what explains the tokenism, the token approach to what they do to respond to the needs of the Muslim community. One of this is to dwell on giving Muslims bags of sugar and rice during Ramadan. As a Muslim community leader, I am looking forward to see how NPP will live up to its expectation.”
“In fact, we are watching and some of the things we have said against other governments we will say against NPP if they don’t fulfill their promises. The past governments have exploited Hajj and they have given the impression that government sponsors Hajj. Government doesn’t sponsor Hajj; but government has exploited the Hajj.”
By: Marian Ansah/citifmonline.com/Ghana