By Godwill Arthur-Mensah, GNA
Accra, April 23, GNA - Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has entreated Ghanaians, irrespective of their religious persuasions, to demonstrate the values of humility, compassion and tolerance, which define the sterling personality of Sheikh Dr Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, the National Chief Imam.
He stated: “There are more things that unite us than those that divide us; and so why allow terrorists to hide under the cloak of religion to divide us? But we, in Ghana, are lucky, that we have people like Sheikh Dr Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, who continues teaching us the right way.
“We pray that Allah continues to preserve our father and grant him long life so that the country will continue to drink from this fountain of wisdom,” he added.
Sheikh Sharubutu turns 100 years today, with goodwill messages pouring in from across the country and beyond to compliment his legendary personality, valued leadership and love for mankind.
The Vice President was thus addressing a Breakfast Public Lecture, organised in his honour, at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel, on Tuesday, in Accra. It was under the theme, “Advancement of Modern Ghanaian Society through Peace, Tolerance and Development”.
The lecture was delivered by Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel.
The Most Reverend Gabriel Charles Palmer-Buckle, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Cape Coast Archdiocese of the Catholic Church, chaired the event, attended by Former President John Dramani Mahama, Muslim clerics and other members of the Clergy.
Ministers of State, Members of Parliament and the Diplomatic Community and many other dignitaries graced the occasion.
As part of activities marking his birthday, the Chief Imam made a historic visit to the Christ the King Parish of the Catholic Church for the Easter Sunday Service.
The gesture, which has been hailed by Ghanaians and the International Community, was intended to promote interfaith dialogue, tolerance and harmony for national unity, peace and development.
Vice President Bawumia acknowledged the laudable contribution of the Muslim leader towards national peace, unity, harmony and interfaith dialogue and tolerance, describing him as, ‘a blessing to the nation’.
He said the National Chief Imam’s lifestyle epitomised the life that the Prophet Mohammed prescribed for Muslims – one of patience, humility, compassion and generosity in line with the noble traditions of the Holy Prophet.
“As a religious leader, Sheikh Dr Osman Nuhu Sharubutu has been at the forefront of championing inclusiveness among the various religious sects.
“He has also promoted interfaith dialogue between the Muslims and Christians, which has ensured the peaceful co-existence between the two major religions in Ghana”.
Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu was born on April 23, 1919 at Old Fadama, to Sheikh Nuhu Bin Mohammed and Ayishatu Abbas.
He was appointed as the National Chief Imam of the Tijaniyya Muslims in Ghana to succeed Sheikh Mukhtar Abbas in 1993.
For his part, the Most Rev. Palmer-Buckle, conveyed the felicitations of the Catholic Church and the Christian Community to him and wished him long life.
He commended his historic visit to the Christ the King Parish, saying that it showed the brotherliness that existed between the Muslims and Christians in Ghana.
“This is leadership by example,” he declared.
Dr Chambas also lauded the humility, guidance and compassion exhibited by the Chief Imam over the years.
He also praised his contribution towards national peace and unity, saying, “He is humility personified, a philanthropist, peace-builder and a unifier”.
Dr Chambas said the Chief Imam had provided spiritual leadership, being a champion of interfaith dialogue, and settled disputes among Muslim Communities.
He lauded the Chief Imam’s efforts in promoting education among Muslims, especially the girl-child and ensuring the welfare of the people.
He also lauded him for his discipline, which he noted, he had been impacting by unreservedly condemning unruly behaviour and trumpeting the need for all Muslims to be law abiding citizens.
He also commended his contribution to the National Peace Architecture, the Peace Council.GNA