Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery, has categorically denied meddling in the leadership dispute among worshippers of the orthodox Muslim faith in the Nandom district of the Upper West Region.
‘‘I have made it clear that I am a Catholic; even in my church I don’t determine leadership. There are rumours that I have taken sides. I want to make it clear here that I have not taken sides,’’ he said addressing the 29th annual Kakube festival of the chiefs and people of Nandom traditional area.
The position of the Chief Imam of the Nandom orthodox Muslims became vacant, following the death of Mallam Abdullai in 2016.
There have been disagreements over the appointment of his succesor which has led to simmering tension in the area. The District Security Council (DISEC) had to close the central mosque of the orthodox Muslims.
Urging peace and cooperation, the minister told the gathering, ‘‘it is the prerogative of Muslims to choose their leadership, no question about that.
But Ambrose Dery stated “one thing I will not tolerate is if the disagreement will manifest itself in a breach of security…I shall make sure who ever is the perpetrator of the breach shall be brought to book.’’
He encouraged worshippers of the Orthodox Muslim faith to come together and unite to choose their preferred leader and promised to give them the needed support.
Ambrose Dery assured the people that he is not going to discriminate or disadvantaged any person or group persons from his development agenda because of the religious or ethnic group they belong.
‘‘I shall deal with all people fairly and equally but that the security of Nandom or the country they shall not be compromise’’, he added.
He enumerated some of his contributions to improve the lives of the people since his return to parliament. They included the donation of computers to some schools in the district, drilling of boreholes and donation grinding mills to women groups.
He announced that under the government’s industrialisation plan termed ‘one district, one factory’, a sheanut factory has been approved for the Nandom district.