This year?s Eid-ul-Adha Festival of the national hierarchy of Muslims was celebrated on a low key at the Black Star Square in Accra Thursday, with the absence of any government representative, as well as the National Chief Imam and his deputy.
Originally, the President, Mr John Dramani Mahama, was scheduled to attend, but that was changed, with the message being communicated to the Muslim leadership that the Vice-President, Mr Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, would attend the event.
However, when proceedings for the day started, one of the leaders received a call that the Vice-President too would not be able to attend.
The National Chief Imam, Sheikh Dr Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, was reported to be on the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, while his deputy, Sheikh Kamalu-Din Abubakar, was said to be indisposed.
That development obviously created disappointment among the large congregation, with surprise visibly written on the faces of a good number of celebrants.
It also led to an early closure of the programme.
The spokesperson for the National Chief Imam, Alhaji Mohammed Gado, told the congregation that the usual practice was for government officials to occupy the dais that had been mounted for the event.
?But 20 minutes ago, we had a call that the Vice-President could not come and so the dais would be occupied by our Muslim leaders,? he said.
The announcement immediately resulted in murmurings among the gathering, in apparent disapproval with the turn of events.
Per the programme line-up, the President was supposed to address the congregation, after which special prayers would be said for the nation.
Worshippers express disappointment
After the event, a number of worshippers with whom the Daily Graphic spoke concerning the inability of the government to send any representative expressed surprise at the turn of events.
?I am utterly surprised by what has happened. So even if the President or his Vice could not come, could they not have sent even the regional minister?? one asked.
?This is not an everyday celebration. It is an annual event and so it is very shocking that the government could not make preparations towards it,? another said.
?Whether the President came or did not come, we have done our spiritual worship and we will go back home to continue with the celebrations. But some of us will not forget this day,? an obviously disappointed worshipper said.
Source : graphic.com.gh