The National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, last Friday introduced Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia to the Islamic community as running mate to the flag-bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), shortly after the weekly congregational service at the Abossey Okai Central Mosque in Accra, crowning it all with a prayer.
The introduction was at the instance of former Vice President Aliu Mahama who described the running mate as the spiritual leaderâ€™s grandson.
â€śWe are grateful to God for the choice of Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia as running mate to Nana Akufo Addo and seek the blessing of the Chief Imam and the Jummuat (Friday congregational prayer) for him. Our mission is to formally inform you about the choice by Nana Akufo Addo and the National Council of the party. Dr. Bawumiaâ€™s father, as you all know, was a popular man in the country. Malam (Chief Imam) I hereby hand over your grandson to you so you can introduce him to the Islamic communityâ€ť.
A spontaneous response of acknowledgment filled the mosque after the Chief Imamâ€™s introduction. Almost in unison, the faithful screamed â€śAtakbirâ€ť, an expression of gratitude in Islam, followed by Allahu Akbar, to wit â€śGod is Greatâ€ť.
The trip to the mosque began at the Kanda residence of the running mate where hundreds of well-wishers had converged on. The street outside the residence was a beehive of activities as political activists and party supporters drawn from various ethnic groups went back and forth, mostly exchanging pleasantries and discussing political issues of the day. Situated within the Nima community, the large turnout of Muslims from the suburb was not surprising.
A long convoy of cars took off shortly after noon towards the mosque and even before arrival, an advance party of Muslim party supporters had taken positions already.
In the Chief Imamâ€™s reception, the running mate, along with former Vice President Aliu Mahama, Sheikh I.C. Quaye, Sheikh T.B. Damba, Alhaji Aminu Amadu and other leading NPP members waited for the Chief Imamâ€™s arrival.
When he finally arrived, he exchanged pleasantries with his guests, crowning it all with a prayer before proceeding to the mosque to preside over the Friday service and sermon.
Dr. Bawumia told his audience in Hausa that â€śI have been chosen by Nana Akufo-Addo to partner him in the 2012 election and so I need the prayers of all of you. Let us join hands in ensuring that we all benefit from the resources of the country. May God grant us good health.â€ť
Continuing, he said, â€śAs you know, one of the reasons why I was chosen is that I am a Muslim and being a Muslim I have to come to the Chief Imam and let him know the good news.â€ť
Dr. Bawumia also prayed for a successful compilation of the voters register and peaceful elections in December and by extension called for Allahâ€™s blessing on Christians in Ghana as they celebrated the Easter festivities.
Dr. Bawumia was introduced to the Chief Imam for the first time at the Abossey Okai Central Mosque when he was made deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana.
Dr. Mohammed Alhassan, one-time Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, requested a prayer from the Chief Imam for the young man. Little did Dr. Bawumia know at the time that he would be picked as running mate one day and return to the spiritual leader for more prayers.
The sermon or Hutba for the service was on unity and righteousness. The Chief Imam tasked Muslims to love one another so that they could be rewarded by God. â€śAvoid evil deeds and let the polls be incident-free,â€ť he said.
By A.R. Gomda