Muslim Clerics Urged To Collaborate To Fight Vigilantism In Zongo’s

Dr Bashiru Shani, a Business Consultant and Lecturer at the Accra Technical University, has called on Imams, Office of the Chief Imam, and Islamic scholars to take a front role and preach against political vigilantism in Zongo communities.

He said the need to take this advocacy measures in the Zongo's was important to prevent the youth against joining political vigilante groups as it was detrimental to society.

Dr Shani made the call at the 21st M.A Mujahid annual Ramadan lectures organised by the Ghana Academy of Muslim Professionals (GAMP) in Accra, over the weekend.

It was on the theme: "Dealing with Political Vigilantism: The Zongo Youth Factor."

He said this was a worry to the Muslim community as most of the time about 90 percent of the youth found in these groups are Muslims.

Dr Shani said in recent times a number of vigilante groups had sprung up and this was due to widespread unemployment.

He said it had been revealed through studies that there was a direct linkage between unemployment, poverty and political vigilante groups.

He said this was a cause for worry because political vigilantism undermines the security and peace of democracy.

Dr Shani noted that vigilantism, as the word connotes, was not bad, as past government's and institutions had used it to drive development.

However, in instances where groups kill, maim, and cause chaos that threaten the peace and security of society, there was the need for all hands to be on deck to deal with the situation before it worsens.

He said in other to deal with the situation, there was the need for all Islamic clerics to come together and address the problem from the grassroots, he stated.

The authorities need to create youth and graduate employment to assist in dealing with the situation, adding that, disbanding such groups as well as allowing the police to take the necessary action to solve the problem would help immensely, he said.

"We need to put up Secondary schools in the communities to educate people and enable them to embrace learning as a life- long endeavor to strengthen our weaknesses and add onto our strength," he stated.

He called on the Zongo Ministry to also channel resources in this regard, to effectively educate the Muslim youth to change their mindset about joining vigilante groups.

Alhaji Yakubu Anderson, the President of GAMP, said vigilantism was one important issue affecting the Zongo communities due to unemployment and politicians were capitalising on it to entice the youth to cause commotion.

These communities leaders need to look into it carefully dissuade the youth not to join such groups, no matter the situation, he stated.

He said Islam teaches peace and love for one another and therefore it was wrong for Muslims to kill, all in the name of vigilantism.

Alhaji Imran Mohammed, the Programme Officer of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) urged the GAMP to engage with communities to share values that would end vigilantism among the Zongo youth.

Dr Rabiatu Amarh Konney, Senior Lecturer University of Ghana, urged community leaders to engage in effective communication, as this was important to remedy the problem.

She said it was important to ensure that the youth are not just given education but skills to enable them to become self employed and explore more in the world of work.

This she said would aid the fight against political vigilantism among the Zongo youth.