The Mamprugu Islamic College of Education in the North East Region has deployed many of its Arabic instructors to help Muslim communities in the upcoming National Population and Housing Census exercise.
Authorities at the College are urging all Muslims in the region to take full interest and participation in the exercise, which is very important in forming the basis for policy development.
The instructors serve as ambassadors to sensitize and prepare Muslims in hard-to-reach communities ahead of the exercise.
The 2021 Population and Housing Census (PHC) is the Sixth Population Census in Ghana since independence.
The exercise is being undertaken to update the current information on the size, sex, age, composition and other characteristics of Ghana’s population and to ascertain the specific changes in characteristics.
The Census is expected to ensure the continuation of a time series of demographic and socio-economic benchmark data at the national and sub-national levels and enhance the capacity-building programme of the Statistical Service.
“We called them today just to give them this orientation as to why there is the need for everybody to come out, including the Muslim population, and participate very well to assist the government in policy direction”, Mallam Sulemena Hisham, an Islamic lecturer and regional General Secretary of the Concerned Muslim Youth Association, said in an interview with JoyNews.
“Previously, I have been a census officer myself; sometime, most of our people [Muslims] doesn’t pay attention because they claim the officers are coming to use them and go and claim money somewhere. There is the need for the enlightenment ones to take this advantage and come out and educate the people and remove that perception”.
He added, “This is free and fair exercise and no one will pay anybody for anything, no one is getting any information to go and sell; so they should willing provide the right information to assist government have proper policy perspective”.
The General Secretary called for unity among the Muslim ummah across the globe.
“We are called Muslims so let’s unite under the oneness of Islam because that is the only name Allah gave to us in the Holy Qur’an, that is the name our Prophet gave to us.
“See yourself as a Muslim but not a Shia, a Tijania, a Faila, Alu Sunna, Salafia, and see yourselves as northerners so that we can move forward.”
Also presence at the orientation of the instructors was the Executive Director of the African Students For Interfaith Tolerance, Mr. Issah Tuaha.
“We have seen in the past that most of our Muslim communities do not usually welcome people to come in and count them, and we feel it is important that people begin to change their perception about why people are being counted,” Mr Tuaha told JoyNews.
“The reason is they do not actually get involved in the process of understanding why it is necessary to be counted,” he further stated.
“So we have taken time today to educate them on the need to be counted and to alps remind them of Hadiths that shows clearly that the Prophet himself (SWA) instructed people to be counted”.
“We equally used religious perspective; using religion to be able to understand why they need for the census will bring a lot of people on board.
“Because sometimes, people may feel that it is not religiously accurate but telling them in the past experiences of Muslims life that will serve a basis for people to accept to be counted”.