The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has eulogised the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, on the latter’s 103rd birthday.
He described the Chief Imam as a man of peace, saying the prevailing harmony in the country was as a result of Sheikh Sharubutu’s wisdom which he had used to hold everyone together.
Dr Bawumia, who was at the New Fadama residence of the Chief Imam in Accra last Saturday to participate in the birthday celebration, said when the centenarian was born, "we did not know that he was a gift from Allah to the nation".
"We are celebrating him, and we are doing so while thanking Allah in this month of Ramadan for his life," he added.
Dr Bawumia said the country’s accolade as the most peaceful in West Africa and the second most peaceful on the entire African continent was not achieved on a silver platter because there were many neighbouring countries which did not enjoy peace.
"We have peace because of the relationship among our diverse people and religions. Everybody in the country today understands that the peace we are enjoying has a lot to do with how the Chief Imam is holding all of us together.
"So as citizens and Muslims, we are very very thankful to the Almighty Allah for the Chief Imam’s life. We pray for longer life and good health for him, so that next year we will come back for the 104th birthday celebration," he added.
The Vice-President, whom the Chief Imam described as his son, further said "it is the duty of any son, when his father has attained this blessing from Allah, to come personally to congratulate and pray for him".
In his response, Sheikh Sharubutu prayed for Allah's forgiveness, compassion and salvation for the nation, saying those were the three attributes mankind must yearn for.
He said the prayer was significant, especially in this Holy month of Ramadan as "we pray Allah guarantees the needs and wishes of the Vice-President".
The Chief Imam, who spoke through his spokesperson, Sheikh Armiyawo Shaibu, also prayed for Allah’s protection for the nation and the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, saying: "May Allah protect and give them abundant blessings and also inspire them with ideas that will help them lead the country to prosperity."
Sheikh Sharubutu also used the occasion to interprete some verses of the Quran to glorify Allah.