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04.11.2008 Regional News

Traditional ban at Kete-Krachi could spark violence

By myjoyonline

An eminent ban on drumming and noise-making imposed by the Kete-Krachi Traditional Council in the Volta Region has sparked angry reactions among the Muslim community.

The ban comes into force from Thursday November 6 to the 26 ahead of the Dante-Akwambo festival.

The ban demands that the Muslim community suspends all the call to prayers through public address systems.

The district security council has endorsed it and is backing the traditional council's enforcement of the ban but they face stiff opposition from the Muslim community in the district who are issuing threats of possible violence.

Muslim leaders in the district have warned that if the ban is enforced, it might trigger violent reactions which might affect the elections in December.

Speaking to Joy News, Halarou Biu, the executive secretary at the Kete-Krachi district Chief Imam's office said Muslims in the community were ready for a compromise, which he said would be to "tune down [their] amplifiers to an appreciable level.”

He said a total ban on their call to prayer would amount to infringing on the rights of the adherents of the Islamic faith in the district.

Mr Biu said the traditional council was wrong in asking the Muslims not to use public address systems during the traditional festivities without recourse to the constitution.

He challenged the traditional council to take the matter to court, adding that the Court is the only authority members of the faith are ready to obey as far as the matter is concerned.

He said although Muslim youth in the district have not been encouraged to engage in battle with the traditional authorities in the event of an enforcement of the ban, there is likely a to be a fierce resistance.

“If what I'm telling you, you said that is what is going to happen, then chaos is going to happen in Kete-Krachi district,” he warned, adding, “no body can stop us from calling to prayer with a microphone.”

'Chief Imam missing in action'

Meanwhile the District Chief Executive for Krachi who is also the chairman of the District Security Council, Douglas Koranteng said nothing could be done about the ban.

He alleged that the District Chief Imam had refused to attend consultative meetings ahead of the imposition of the ban.

Mr Koranteng noted that although there have been threats of violence, a section of the Muslim community in the district has pledged their willingness to observe the ban.

Story by Fiifi Koomson

[Joy Newsroom contributed reporting]