The Tano South Municipal Security Committee (MUSEC) in the Ahafo Region has closed down the Bechem Central Mosque for security reasons.
The committee arrived at the decision following a review of the security situation in the town in relation to the dispute between the people of Hausas origin and other ethnic groups in the Bechem Zongo community over a piece of land, which has a potential of degenerating into violence.
The review of the security situation in the town was necessitated following an early warning letter written by the Bono Regional Peace Council which warned of looming violence in the Tano South Municipality as tension continued to build up between the Bechem Chief Imam and the rest of the Muslim community at Bechem.
In that letter, the Peace Council stated the Chief Imam, Alhaji Gari ba Ibrahim had been suspended indefinitely, there were, therefore, plans to prevent him to preside over Friday prayers.
The Tano South Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Collins Offinam Takyi, therefore, announced the closing down of the Bechem Central Mosque in a statement copied to the Ahafo Regional Minister, Evans Opoku-Bobbie, the Bono Regional Peace Council, Tano South Municipal Chief Imam, Ibrahim Gariba, and the Bono and Ahafo Regional chief Imams and other security agencies citing security reasons.
The statement said the MUSEC of the Tano South Municipal Assembly "wishes to inform you that, for security reasons, the Bechem Central Mosque has been temporarily closed for prayers from Friday, and any other day until further notice".
"In view of this, all Muslims at Bechem town are humbly informed that the Central Mosque will not be opened to Muslims to observe any of the prayers including today (Friday) Jummah prayers until the security situation in the town improves".
The statement apologised for inconveniences that would cause Muslims in the town and pleaded with all to comply for the sake of peace.