Let's avoid fatalities during floods-Rawlings (Wednesday, June 23, 2010 , pg 23)

FORMER President Jerry John Rawlings has described as unfortunate the death recorded in  last Sunday’s heavy downpour and has, therefore, called on the government to take precautionary measures to ensure that it does not happen again.

The torrential rain killed 11 eleven people in Ashaiman and its environs with four other deaths confirmed by the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) at Nmai Dzorn in the Adentan Municipality.

The former President, who was accompanied by his wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, said this when he paid a courtesy call on the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu, to mourn the death of the Chief Imam’s brother, Alhaji Ibrahim Sharubutu.

Alhaji Sharubutu aged  82, who died last  Tuesday and was  buried on the same day because of Islamic custom, was an Islamic Scholar and a member of the National Chief Imam’s Advisory Committee.
The Chief Imam was said to be in Copenhagen, Denmark, for a world peace conference and had to forego another trip to the United States of America.

Funeral rites would be held on Sunday, June 27, 2010, with the final funeral rites to be performed 40 days later.

Former President Rawlings said the death of  Alhaji Sharubutu came at “a time the nation is going through trying times” adding that “his death adds up to the pains of the time.”

Consoling the Chief Imam, he said: “We are equally sad about the painful news that has befallen your family. Your loss is our loss but it is only the Lord who determines when our last hour comes. It is He who gives and takes.”

The former President  commended Sheikh Sharubutu for his modest efforts in maintaining peace in different parts of the country, especially, in the northern parts of the country.

He called for unity saying: “So long as we remain united and pitch in our strength and purpose together, we would go far.”

“It is our prayer that  God keeps you in good health,” he said.

He promised to call on the Chief Imam at a later date to deliberate on issues of national concern because the country needed his prayers.

Former President Rawlings and his wife donated GH¢1000 to the Chief Imam towards the funeral rites and an undisclosed amount to the Chiefs from the Zongo communities.

Sheikh Sharubutu, speaking through an interpreter, expressed appreciation to the former president for taking time off his commitments to mourn with him.

The Chief Imam welcomed the former president’s suggestion of meeting later with him (Chief Imam) to discuss pertinent issues affecting the nation saying: “It was as if you picked into my heart. I was also looking forward to a day we could sit and talk about national issues. It is like the meeting of the heart and mind.”

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