Muslims Up In Arms With Statistical Service Over Census Report

IMAM AWAL Shuaib, in charge of the Takoradi Central Mosque, has taken a swipe at the officials of the Ghana Statistical Service for erroneously declaring that Muslims in the country represented only 15.9 per cent of Ghana’s population, as was contained in the 2000 population and housing census report. According to the Imam, Muslims throughout the country had rejected the figure quoted by the service, alleging that the officers deliberately underestimated the Muslim population for reasons best known to them. He noted that the incorrect figure quoted by the statisticians had serious implications on the country’s politics, economy, trade and the friendship between Muslims and Christians. The Imam indicated that statistics from some renowned agencies indicated that Muslims represented about 25 per cent of the world’s population and 45 per cent of the population of Ghana. He has therefore called on the Government Statistician and his staff to conduct a transparent and credible census which would result in realistic figures in the 2010 exercise that would be acceptable by both Muslims and Christians. Imam Shuaib was addressing thousands of Muslims that gathered at the Takoradi Jubilee Park to offer prayers for this year’s Eid-Ul-Adha, a festival of peace with Allah and one another. In an address read on his behalf, the Western Regional Minister, Paul Evans Aidoo, urged Muslims to use the occasion to pray for peace for the people of this country, particularly those in conflict zones of Bawku, Gushiegu and Yendi. He intimated that since peace is a pre-requisite for any sustainable development, there was the need to use any possible means of dialogue to bring the warring factions together. The Regional Minister bemoaned the attitudes of some youth nowadays who had perceived that all that mattered was the acquisition of wealth and therefore indulged in occultism and ‘sakawa’, even at the peril of their lives. Hon Aidoo then called on the religious leaders to use the mosque to preach godliness, hard work, honesty and all the virtues that could lead to peace and national development.