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Kasoa ritual murder: Angry Chief Imam calls for dialogue on erosion of values

Ghana’s National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, has condemned and expressed anger at the murder of an 11-year-old boy for ritual purposes at Kasoa in the Central region.

The suspects, Felix Nyarko, 15, and Nicholas Kini, 17, conspired to kill the Class Four pupil of the Maranatha School, Ishmael Mensah, at about 10 a.m. on Holy Saturday for ritual purposes.

The incident has received national condemnation with many calling on the National Media Commission and other relevant state agencies to stop spiritualists from advertising on television.

Commenting to the tragic event, the Chief Imam, in a statement, noted that beyond his outrage, he strongly supports the call by well-meaning Ghanaians and men and women of pure conscience that the law enforcement agencies should expedite investigations and subject all accomplices to the full rigours of the law without fear or favour.

While condemning the crime, the Chief Imam is also advocating an engagement of all, especially the custodians of cultural values, religion and moral consciousness “on the speedy erosion of the country’s values and spirit of communitarianism, which have held our societies together since time immemorial.”

He said it was “terribly worrying and frightening” that the youth of the contemporary era could descend as low as to kill a close associate for rituals for money.

“Our collective failure to address this threat both in the long and short terms will surely leave us with no guarantee for genuine safety, security, harmony and peace. Indeed, it is not out of place to suspect that incidents of similar nature have occurred outside the lenses of the law enforcement and security agencies and the media,” the Chief Imam said in his statement.

He noted that the murder of Ismael Mensah Abdulai is only a tip of the iceberg, which should “inspire in us, a greater sense of responsibility and vigilance at all levels.”

The Chief Imam is, thus, calling for a dispassionate and non-political discussion to determine where to locate the gaps, deficiencies, inadequacies and imbalances of the systems that account for these social and moral challenges in recent time.

“There is the need to relentlessly embark upon a programme of social and cultural re-orientation and re-awakening aimed at bringing back our collective dignity as a people. Part of the re-orientation agenda must be to sanitise our social and moral spaces to rid them of the evil and criminal tendencies which are currently plaguing our societies and destroying the youth,” he added.

Read the Chief Imam’s full statement below:

REFLECTIONS OF THE NATIONAL CHIEF IMAM ON THE KASOA RITUAL MURDER AND IMPLICATIONS FOR SOCIETY

The ritual murder of the innocent ten-year-old Ishmael Mensah Abdulai, which took place last week will go down on record as one of the most unfortunate occurrences on our recent history.

The emotional pain and anguish inflicted on his parents, immediate family and neighbourhood by the gruesome murder will humanly speaking take some time to heal gradually. It is in this regard that the Eminent National Chief Imam wishes to express his deepest sympathies and condolences to the parents and immediate family particularly and the entire neighbourhood in general in this trying moment.

Indeed, the memories left behind and the anguish evoked can only be assuaged by the belief and consolation that Ishmael Mensah Abdulai, their son is listed among martyrs who are living and rejoicing in the blissful and peaceful presence of the Almighty Allah.

We, therefore, implore all those affected by the horrendous crime to continue to endure with equanimity to heavy test to which they have been subject. For it is only the Almighty God who is capable of consoling and soothing their pain in the long run.

While consoling the bereaved family with sympathies expressed, the National Chief Imam would also like to add his voice to the public outrage and condemnations that have filled the media space since the incident occurred.

Beyond the outrage the, National Chief Imam strongly supports the call by well-meaning Ghanaians and men and women of pure conscience that, the law enforcement agencies should expedite investigations and subject all accomplices to the heinous crime to the full rigours of the law without fear or favour.

While vehemently condemning the crime what is of utmost importance to engage the attention of all especially the custodians of cultural values, religion and moral consciousness is the speedy erosion of our values and spirit of communitarianism which have held our societies together since time immemorial.

It should be terribly worrying and frightening to all well-meaning Ghanaians that, the youth of the contemporary era could descend as low as to kill a close associate ritualistically for a pecuniary ambition. It portends a great danger to our internally built social protection and mutual support systems. Our collective failure to address this threat both in the long and short terms will surely leave us with no guarantee for genuine safety, security, harmony and peace. Indeed, it is not out of place to suspect that incidents of similar nature have occurred outside the lenses of the law enforcement and security agencies and the media.

The occurrence of the recent murder of Ismael Mensah Abdulai is only a tip of the ice-berg which should inspire in us greater sense of responsibility and vigilance at all levels.

Decent minded people and men and women of reason and pure conscience should rise up and speak up to salvage the integrity of our common society. A dispassionate and non-political discussion is needed to determine where to locate the gaps deficiencies, inadequacies and imbalances of our systems that account for these social and moral challenges of our time.

There is the need to relentlessly embark upon a programme of social and cultural re-orientation and re-awakening aimed at bringing back our collective dignity as a people. Part of the re-orientation agenda must be to sanitize our social and moral spaces to rid them of the evil and criminal tendencies which are currently plaguing our societies and destroying the youth.

Both for short and long term solutions, critical aspects of our national and community life worthy of consideration among other things include, educational philosophy, civic education and youth counselling institutions.

Other areas worthy of critical note also include family life education, the role of religion as a moral agent, trusted justice system, responsible journalism and respect for human right, effective law enforcement system and sound economic policies aimed at addressing joblessness among the youth.

These steps and others taken as part of the social, cultural and moral re-orientation may help curb the rising trends of wicked, evil and callous tendencies being witnessed in recent times in our communities.

May the Almighty God save us all.

SHEIKH ARMIYAWO SHAIBU

SPOKESPERSON FOR THE NATIONAL CHIEF IMAM

Arrest of Suspects

Meanwhile, a traditional priestess linked to the murder has been arrested by the police.

She was arrested at Amanase near Suhum in the Eastern Region.

Her details are yet to be made public by the police.

The two teen suspects who have been arrested by the police for killing the little boy confessed to being inspired to commit the crime after watching a spiritualist on TV talk about how people could be millionaires through such means, the fact sheet of the case has revealed.

The suspects, Felix Nyarko, 15, and Nicholas Kini, 17, allegedly conspired to kill the Class Four pupil of the Maranatha School, Ishmael Mensah, at about 10 a.m. on Holy Saturday.

According to the facts of the case as presented by the prosecutor, Inspector Japhet Agyeman, Nyarko got the idea from watching the TV spiritualist and sold the plan to his accomplice Kini, who said he knew a different spiritualist in the Volta Region who could help them.

The spiritualist they contacted asked them for a human sacrifice and a sum of GHS5,000.

“For some time now, the 1st accused [Felix Nyarko] has been watching Ghana Television channels that entertain mallams and other spiritualists to promote their prowess in making people instant millionaires.

“He informed the 2nd accused [Nicholas Kini] who advised that there is a certain spiritualist in Volta Region who can do it for them.

The “2nd accused, who is not having a phone, provided the phone number of the said spiritualist to the 1st accused, who has access to his mother’s phone.

“After contacting the said spiritualist, she agreed to help if only they can provide a human being and cash sum of GHS5,000 for the rituals,” portions of the police fact sheets revealed.

According to the fact sheet, the teen suspects first planned kidnapping the now-deceased boy for a GHS5,000 ransom from his parents so they could present the money to the spiritualist but aborted that plot.

Source: classfmonline.com

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