Overpasses Planned For National Mosque

Overpasses are being planned for the Kanda National Mosque ahead of the completion of the project in October this year to save lives in the face of possible heavy traffic.

This came to light yesterday when the Chief Director of the Ministry of Roads and Highways Godwin Brocke engaged with the management of the project which is nearing completion.

The Chief Director who represented the sector minister said the overpasses are needed to ensure safety of pedestrians when traffic becomes heavy upon the commission of the mosque project.

“We are here to recce the site with a view to determining the safety implications of the project before the construction of overpasses at the most appropriate places. On the West side of the project the major impediment are properties. The design must include ramps for the safety of pedestrians,” he said.

He asked the mosque authorities to encourage the use of the overpasses because of the tendency of pedestrians to rather walk under the facilities and thereby endangering their lives.

Alhaji Basiru Sakibu, team leader of the project introduced his team to the Chief Director and his entourage as he gave a background of the project and the pains they have taken to bring it to its current level.

The project which started five years ago, he said, is scheduled to be completed in October this year.  The visiting technocrats went to the surrounding areas of the mosque for the recce mission.

Before then, Goodman, a member of the mosque construction team took the technocrats on a guided tour of the project; the architecture of which he said is Ottoman.

It is moulded along the famous Blue Mosque in Istanbul; the adjective originating from the blue colour radiated by the blue mosaic in the roof of the structure in the Ottoman city.

But for the sand used in the construction, all other items were imported from Turkey, the visiting technocrats were told.

There are five pillars in the mosque each of them representing the five Caliphs or successors of Prophet Mohammed.

The structure, the only one in the whole of Africa, is being sought after by other countries such as Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire who are asking the Turks for replication of the structure. The only massive mosque structure which can rival the Ghanaian National Mosque is sited in Cairo but that is not Ottoman in design.

The National Mosque which can contain a total of ten thousand worshippers boasts of outstanding marble works – the maintenance of which require expertise, DAILY GUIDE gathered from the construction team.

The remaining items needed for the completion of the project are sitting in Turkey awaiting the necessary paperwork to arrive in the country.

The Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia has been contacted to intervene in the matter of duties for the goods needed for the completion of the project, the team leader told DAILY GUIDE.

Earlier, then President John Mahama had assured the team of support so the payment of duties would be wavered but this suffered massive bureaucratic bottlenecks, and to date, nothing has been achieved in that direction and all items subjected to the payment of duties.

Basiru Sakibu said the massive structure has been put up by only 17 Turkish craftsmen who are masters of their professions. “We have a lot to learn from them,” he said, adding that over a half a million dollars have been spent on duty for the imported items.

The National Mosque is being built with the support of some Turkish NGOs; the land having been donated by government after the demolition of the original Accra central mosque in Accra central.

By A.R. Gomda