General News of Sunday, 2 July 2017
Operatives of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) have raided a local radio station in the Northern region and held workers for several hours over hate speech.
Officers of the BNI stormed Zaa radio, a station repeatedly accused of promoting hate speech and fanning religious discord, when some senior scholars of the Ambariyya community on the regular Friday segment attacked and insulted leader of the Masjid Bayan Sunni sect, Shaeik Ibrahim Baasha.
The scholars on the live broadcast show, speaker after speaker, raged against Sheik Bayan and levelled at him wild allegations including being envy and responsible for the prolonged ailment of their Supreme father, Sheik Seidu.
The security operatives launched the raid after intercepting a recorded tape allegedly emanated from Abu Dhujal, elder son of Sheik Baasha who was simmering in anguish after he was refused an opportunity to respond to their sermon and dangerous accusations.
The tape recorded in fierce rage, deep vindictiveness and full of belligerent rhetoric was calling true Muslims to converge at a ground near the Tamale Kaladan Park to listen to a ministry broadcast and sermon where treachery, hypocrisy and rascality would be exhibited in words.
The short voice clip received over dozens shares in the first minute of its broadcast on WhatsApp and other social media tools and left the city of majority Sunni believers tensed and frail.
Authorities of the radio station and some controversial staff including host of the disputed Friday Show were questioned and a recording of the sermon also taken by the BNI agents. Some armed personnel were left behind to watch over the network house after arson threats were heard.
Zaa radio is known to security services in the region. In 2012, it was attacked in a suspected reprisals after violent clashes between the Ahli-Sunna and Tijanniya sects at another radio station over varied interpretations of a sura in the Holy Quran.
The Northern Regional Minister and Chairman of the Security Council has appealed for calm in Tamale a day after the BNI raid.
Speaking on the development, Salifu said it saddens his heart that to see how some people are blocking away developments of the region by always attempting to resolve grievances through violent attacks and destabilizing security.
The minister condemned the incident and said to make hate speech and create or spark personal disputes a subject of an Islamic sermon is needless and added the exchanges were unfortunate.
Saeed begged for ceasefire urging feuding sects to consider the interest of Islam and asking all those trading threats to halt.
“Northern Region has been relatively peaceful for some time now and we all take the credit. Let us not wind back the progress. Our Imams and Ulemas should take up the responsibility to call on all to ceasefire and come together, whilst the Security Agencies continue the dialogue.
“I appeal to all in the Name of Allah to all give peace a chance. We are prepared to facilitate a dialogue and I urge you to come along. The region needs peace for development to take place”, he noted