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05.04.2008 Editorial

Much Ado About A Visit

By Daily Guide
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A fortnight or so ago, a nasty incident was almost unleashed at the residence of the National Chief Imam.

The details of the near clash are too fresh to warrant a reproduction. For the purpose of refreshing our memories however, we wish to recall that members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and their New Patriotic Party (NPP) counterparts resorted to an exchange of invectives when their leaders took turns to pay courtesy calls on the National Chief Imam.

Thankfully, the venerable Islamic cleric has deemed it proper to 'let sleeping dogs lie'. Sheikh Nuhu Osman Sharabutu acted rightly by the counsel and the accompanying apology for the fracas which was averted.

We wish to associate ourselves with the call to let sleeping dogs lie as opposed to raking the past which would not serve any good for our quest for tranquility as we march towards election 2008.

We have listened painfully to the utterances following the incident, which although did not develop into the breaking of bones, was bad enough to pass for a blight on our tolerance abilities as individuals and groups in a democratic setting.

The National Chief Imam has suffered much pain containing the intolerable behaviour of people who pretend to be serving his interests.

We have observed that that was the umpteenth time that a nasty incident was averted at the residence which is venue for the annual celebration of Prophet Mohammed's birthday.

Some of the people who have created headaches for the old man over the years are partisan elements who in their quest to win cheap political points support rude behaviour instead of abhorring them.

We have noted though that the old man has stood his ground of refusing to be drawn into partisan politics. His reaction to what transpired at his residence attests to this fact and we salute him for that.

Even as he churned out his abhorrence for what happened, and went ahead to claim responsibility so that sleeping dogs can lie, some partisan elements appeared not to be on the same thinking wavelengths with him.

Yesterday, a phony group issued what sounded like an order on the NPP presidential candidate to render an apology to the National Chief Imam for what it considered to be lies churned out by the honourable man about what transpired at the cleric's residence.

We think that such a demand is not only unnecessary but smacks of partisanship, considering the personality behind the ultimatum.

We have come a long way from the dark days of politics in this country. The past seven years have witnessed a paradigm shift from violence and vitriolic-laden politics on the part of a ruling party.

There are others who would want the old order to continue as evidenced by the manner they seek to render anything which comes under their political radar, partisan.

The Office of National Chief Imam should be insulated from partisan politics, contrary to what these elements are seeking to do.

The office, like any other organization of its stature and standing, is made up of personalities sympathetic to various political groupings in the country, and that is what democracy is all about.

We therefore condemn any attempt which seeks to create the impression that the old man is sympathetic to their side of the political divide.

Such an attempt is injurious to the integrity and dignity of the office of the Chief Imam.

As we head for election 2008, we ask for tolerance so that the democratic credentials which we are now proudly flaunting in the international arena would remain a permanent feature.

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