Controversy Over The Selection Of A Regional Chief Imam


The Muslim community in the Volta Region of Ghana has been without a Regional Chief Imam for the past four years, and this has caused serious division within the Muslim community in that region.

In a chat with the Zango Chief of Kpando Haj Abdullai Rashid Abass your authoritative has learnt that there is much tension amongst the community on who should succeed the late regional imam who passed away almost five years ago.

“Some elements within the Muslim leadership in the region are stalling the process of electing a competent, committed and knowledgeable imam for their parochial interest”, Haj Abass told this reporter.

“Since the death of Imam Hamza of blessed memory many attempts have been made to install a successor but there are no systems in place for that”, he revealed. He added that the people of Ho are clamouring for the deceased imam’s deputy, Malam Anas whilst the majority of Muslims representing the whole region are rather asking for a more competent, knowledgeable scholar to be installed.

According to Haj Abass, there are no qualified scholars in Ho for that position and therefore other parts of the region must be considered for the job since the Volta Region is not made up of only the Ho metropolis. “We are not ready to accept an Imam who cannot express himself in both the Arabic and English languages, since the former is the Islamic language whilst the latter is the official language of Ghana.”

Meanwhile the Zango chief of Hohoe, Alhaji Meiriga doesn’t share the sentiments of his counterpart from Kpando, he rather has called on the Muslim leadership in the region to endorse the imamship of Malam Anas so as to promote peace and development within the region.

In a telephone interview with Alhaji Meiriga registered his displeasure on the posture of some people against the elevation of the deputy imam whom he said ‘has served as deputy for the deceased imam for many years”. “I don’t understand why some people are kicking against Malam Anas who is the acting Imam and has been representing us for all these years.” If he lacks competence as they claim then why was he given the deputyship in the first place”?, the chief wondered.

Alhaji Meiriga was of the opinion that English language should not be a criteria for the selection of an imam, “Why don’t we appoint Malam Anas as the imam and then look for someone with a secular background to deputize for him,? I believe by so doing we will all live in peace”, he concluded.

Meanwhile the Coalition of Muslim Organizations Ghana (COMOG) is working on a leadership framework for the selection of imams in the country. This, the coalition believes will put to rest controversies surrounding the appointment of imams from the national to the grassroots levels.

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