Alhaji Mohammed Karifala, the Vice-President, Council of Zango Chiefs in Sunyani has appealed to the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to assist Muslims by immediately releasing their corpses for burial.
Alhaji Karifala who is also the ‘Daffi’ Chief within the Sunyani Zango community explained that it would enable the families and the leadership of the Muslim communities to fulfil one of the vital requirements of the Islamic religion.
Socio-economically too, the burden of mortuary fee payment and cost of autopsy could be avoided because sometimes the dead might not have relatives in the community, but by obligation in keeping with Islamic practice, “it is our responsibility to bury the person and perform other rites”, he added.
Alhaji Karifala made the appeal in an interview with the media in Sunyani after the inauguration of a 17- member Council of Zango Chiefs within the Sunyani Municipality.
He expressed worry “our corpses are not supposed to be kept at morgue for more than 24 hours because we have to ensure immediate burial in less than 24 hours”.
Alhaji Karifala pleaded with the GHS to issue a directive to hospitals nationwide “to agree with us to release our corpses as soon as death occurs for speedy burial and funeral rites in fulfilment of the customs and tradition of the Islamic religion”.
In an inaugural address earlier, Alhaji Karifala said the Council formed 36 years ago (1983) existed to unite chiefs and opinion leaders in Zango communities to promote peaceful co-existence for the progress of the people.
He explained the need for the existence of such a body at every Zango because in whatever city, a town or community across the country “there is always one Zango community which is composed of different tribes or multi-ethnic groups”.
In a speech read on her behalf, Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Sunyani Municipal Chief Executive, advised the Zango youth to emulate the exemplary lives of their elders to contribute to the maintenance of peace in the Municipality.