Africa History

Asantehene details how his uncle gave land for Kumasi Central Mosque in 1954

The Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has given a historical account of how the land on which the Kumasi Central Mosque was acquired in 1954.

In his address at the opening of the renovated facility on February 3, 2023; the Asantehene recounted that it took his uncle Otumfuo Sir Osei Agyemang Prempeh II to identify a plight of the growing Muslim population and move to address same. 

The only mosque for Friday prayers at the time had outgrown the Muslim population and worshipers were lined up outside the facility when the then Otumfuo was being driven by. 

“The history of the Mosque (Kumasi Central) underscores the empathy between the Golden Stool and the Muslim community. The first Mosque was built in 1905 on land in front of the palace of the Sarrikin Zongo (Zongo Chief) overlooking the Zongo Police station. 

“It remained the only mosque in Kumasi used for Friday prayers until 1954. It is said that on a Friday in 1954, my uncle Otumfuo Sir Osei Agyemang Prempeh II was driven past Asawase and saw the multitude of Muslims laying their prayer mats on dusty roads around the Mosque for their Friday prayers. 

“Back at Manhyia, he summoned the Sarikin Zango Ahmad Baba and offered him a vast plot of land at Asawase for the building of a fitting mosque to accommodate the growing Muslim population,” he detailed. 

He continued with how the said land was later swapped and the unintended political consequences that resulted: 

“City planning considerations later led to the plot at Asawase being swapped for a new site at North Zongo, with the former becoming the Asawase market. 

“In the febrile political atmosphere of the time, this noble gesture of the Asantehene was twisted and interpreted as an attempt to mobilise the Zongo community against the Government. 

“It led to the deportation of Ahmad’s Baba and other Muslim leaders and subsequent acts which literally amounted to the seizure of the assets of Asanteman,” he lamented. 

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II was in attendance Friday, March 3, 2023; when the newly reconstructed Kumasi Central Mosque was inaugurated. 

Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, handed over the facility whose expansion he financed, to the Mosque’s committee after it was commissioned on Friday amidst excitement. 

The commissioning ceremony was graced by the Asantehene along with the national Chief Imam Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu and a host of distinguished dignitaries including Ministers, MPs, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, regional Imams, Zongo Chiefs, as well as top Muslim and Christian clerics. 

The arrival of the Asantehene to the grounds in a video shared by Manyhia-owned Opensuo TV showed the respected chief moving from his palace to the venue with a fleet of cars amid police escort. 

He is in his usual flashy black saloon vehicle with the flag of the Ashanti State and upon arrival at the venue is met by his royal retinue as well as some of the other invited guests at the premises. 

The mosque was officially commissioned by the Vice President, the Chief Imam and the Asantehene in time for Jummah (Friday congregational) prayers. 

In no time after it was opened to the public, the 7000-capacity mosque was filled to capacity with several others praying outside. 

As the excited people entered the mosque, some were seen shedding tears of joy in excitement and admiration of the sheer beauty of the mosque

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