The following is the full text of the statement issued by the Coalition of Muslim Organizations, Ghana (COMOG) yesterday.
The Coalition of Muslim Organizations, Ghana (COMOG) has received with suspicion and reservation and serious concern, the sad news of the death of Mustapha Abdul, a final year student of Adisadel College, and hereby calls for thorough investigations into the matter in order to establish the actual circumstances that led to the unfortunate incident.
This call for investigations is being made against the background of reports in possession of COMOG that rules and regulations in certain Christian-established schools in the country compel Muslim students in such schools to attend church services, and in some cases even prohibit their observance of the five daily Muslim prayers.
Gleanings from the story in the “Daily Graphic” of Monday March 17, 2008 indicate clearly that the late Mustapha, a Muslim student “had failed to attend the school's church service” and was “hiding in the new classroom block” from where he jumped to his death in a desperate attempt to escape the attention of Mr. Joseph Opare, the senior housemaster. The same story also indicated a source stressing “The importance for all students to understand the school rules and regulations and obey them”.
While COMOG would not like to take the “Daily Graphic” story hook, line and sinker and jump into any conclusions without hearing the other side of the story, we would not like the seriousness of the incident to be played down as if it was just one of the normal cases of truancy or students' disobedience of school's rules and regulations.
The likelihood or possibility of Mustapha's death being a direct result of the process of enforcing the school's rules and regulations on Muslim students to attend a Christian Church Service, should neither be ruled out nor wished away, until the case has been properly and thoroughly investigated.
COMOG therefore hereby calls on the authorities, especially the Ministry of Education, the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Ghana Police Service to set up an independent committee of enquiry to conduct thorough investigations into the matter and establish the actual circumstances under which the student jumped to his death.
In the meantime, COMOG would like the Muslim students in the school to remain calm, exercise restraint and rest assured that COMOG will continue to demand justice to all concerned especially the bereaved family, in the handling of this sad case.
Major Mohammed Easah(rtd)President of COMOG