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President did not snub National Chief Imam - President’s Aide

BY: Samuel K. Obour

An aide to President John Dramani Mahama has denied suggestions that the President snubbed the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu, in  the organisation of this year's pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj).

Alhaji Babalami Abu Sadat told the Daily Graphic that it was not true that the President had refused to respond to a letter on the organisation of Hajj from the office of the National Chief Imam.

He claimed that the rumours were attempts to destroy the cordial relationship between the President and the National Chief Imam.

"The President cannot snub the National Chief Imam. He regards the National Chief Imam as his father. Because of the relationship between Sheikh Sharubutu and the President's father, President Mahama has always seen the National Chief Imam as his father," he said.

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"Whatever you do about these two gentlemen must be done in such a way to bring peace and unity. Confusion between the two would not affect them, but rather the entire Muslim community," he said.

On the said letter, Alhaji Sadat said the National Chief Imam on April 5, 2013, gave the letter to the Vice-President,  Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, to be given to the President who was away on a trip to Nigeria.

He said President Mahama returned from Nigeria on Sunday and  on that same day the Vice-President  left Accra for Turkey.

As a result, Alhaji Sadat said, the Vice-President could not meet the President before departing for Turkey, and indicated that "the Vice-President could not also send  the letter through anybody because of the importance he attaches to the office o f the National Chief Imam."

With regards to a conference in  Saudi Arabia, Alhaji Sadat discounted claims that the President did not inform the National Chief Imam about it.

"President Mahama ordered the new NHC Chairman, Alhaji Rauf, to inform the National Chief Imam about the conference in Saudi Arabia last week," he said.

Alhaji Sadat said President Mahama again directed the NHC chairman to ensure that a representative from the office of the National Chief Imam was on  the schedule to the conference.

Story: Musah Yahaya Jafaru/Daily Graphic