The Office of the National Chief Imam (ONCI) has acknowledged the role of Vice-President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia in changing the face of politics in the Muslim communities in the country popularly called Zongos.
It said the days when politicians trooped into the Zongos and distributed sugar and rice and other goodies just to get them to vote in a certain pattern are over, since the people are beginning to read between the lines.
The office, in a rare response to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Zongo Caucus that the Vice-President has done nothing to their people, said Dr. Bawumia had come in with politics of ideas and development, and that is breaking the dominance of 'sugar and rice politics.'
The ONCI Facebook post comes on the heels of insinuations by an opposition NDC Zongo grouping about the achievement of the Vice-President in the Zongo communities and direct vitriolic at the integrity of the Vice-President.
The post expressed gratitude to the Vice-President for, as it stated, “his show of respect to the National Chief Imam for officially visiting him to inform him of his re-nomination as running mate” and “commended the Vice-President for transforming politics in the Zongos to development based.”
The Facebook post of the spiritual head acknowledged also that the nature of politics in this segment of the population has changed since Dr. Bawumia became the Second Gentleman and commended him for initiating many development initiatives in Zongo communities across the country, especially in the area of education.
“The ONCI wishes to take this opportunity to express its gratitude to the Vice-President and the President for a number of initiatives that the current administration took to uplift and raise the living standards of the Zongo community, part of which is the establishment of the Zongo Development Fund (ZDF), the acquisition of 40 scholarships specifically for residents of the Zongo to learn medicine and other science-related field in Cuba and the government plans to make this programme an annual exercise,” the post indicated.
Caution To Parties
For political parties that continue on the tangent of wooing Zongo residents through rice and sugar, the ONCI has told them, “The Zongo communities of today are wide awake and not interested in such politics.”
Continuing, the post stated that the “Zongo communities of today are no longer interested in receiving bags of rice, sugar and some material things during festive sessions but rather scholarships, employment for its graduates, vocational skills for its dropouts and entrepreneurship/empowerment trainings that will translate into development into Zongo communities.”
The Office of the Vice-President has without doubt had its job done for it by the Chief Imam's Office, having rightly summed up the achievements of Dr. Bawumia in the area of, especially education, among others.
NDC Zongo Caucus
The Vice-President's successful visit to the residence of the National Chief Imam, one of many, has infuriated the NDC Zongo Caucus.
The NDC is sulking and decided to peddle untruths on the record of the Vice-President, but the ONCI Facebook post has shattered its intended objective.
This is the first time that the ONCI has come out to set the records straight in a matter bordering on politics in the Zongo communities.
The “We have delivered our promises to the Zongos” from Dr. Bawumia appears to have caused the NDC insomnia exacting from its trademark political vitriolic.
For the NDC, the Vice-President was being 'economical' with the truth when he visited the Chief Imam and 'lied' about the achievements of the Zongo Development Fund.
They added that “we ask: how much was allocated to the Zongo Fund in the budget since they came to power and how much was actually released?
As we speak, there are more than 1,000 Zongo communities across the country, and we dare Dr. Bawumia to tell us specifically the Zongos that have benefited from the fund? The Zongo Development Fund only exists on paper and its mandate is reserved for salaries of NPP appointees.”
Alhaji Mohammed Mamah-Cole Younger, National Zongo Caucus Coordinator, the author of the statement, has received a befitting response from the ONCI which he did not expect anyway.