Contest over Chief Imam sparks violence at Nandom

BY: Michael Quaye
Some of the items destroyed during the violence
Some of the items destroyed during the violence

Violence broke out at Nandom in the Upper West Region last Thursday night with one house being set on fire and more than 10 people injured during clashes believed to have been inspired by a contest over who becomes the Chief Imam of the area.

The police have since restored peace, following the deployment of personnel from the regional command to quell the unrest, but no arrests have been made so far.

Eyewitnesses confirmed to the Daily Graphic that persons of different tribal backgrounds appeared to stand with their tribesmen in the contest for the position of religious leader among orthodox Muslims.

During the period of calm the next morning, empty shells of bullets proved that offensive weapons had been used in the violent clashes, but it has not been established whether those shells came from the police in their effort to restore order.

Police


The Nandom District Police Commander, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Mr John Opare, told the Daily Graphic that the situation was under control.

Haggles over who becomes the next Chief Imam for Nandom among Orthodox Muslims have always been the cause for confusion.

Last year, during the celebration of the Kobine Festival of the chiefs and the people of Nandom, the Interior Minister and Member of Parliament for the area, Mr Ambrose Dery, cautioned that he would deal with any culprits, if the issue ever escalated into violence.

At the time, he warned that he did not support any of the candidates, be it overtly or covertly, and, therefore, would not tolerate any attempt to drag him into the supposed dispute.

Nearly a year on, the issue has popped up again in the most unfortunate manner that has destroyed property worth thousands of cedis and left persons with injuries.