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Election controversy and land dispute rock National Muslim Council of Liberia

By Kruah Thompson

The chairman of the National Muslim Council of Liberia has publicly criticized the former Grand Mufti, Sheikh Abubakar Sumaworo, for rejecting the results of the March 3, 2023, election of the organization.

At a conference in the Chicken Soup factory on April 17, Chairman Ansu L. Massalay expressed his disappointment and revealed that the former Grand Mufti’s refusal to accept the election results has caused unrest and division among members of the National Muslim Council.

The Chairman at that conference urged Sumaworo to hand over the reign to his successor, Dr. Moriken Kanneh, in order to maintain unity within the council. But the former Grand Mutfi has refused to turn over the office, alleging fraud and cheating during the election.

Meanwhile, in the midst of the ongoing election controversy is a pending land dispute which involved the former Grand Mutfi and some group of Muslims.

It could be recalled that on January 30, 2023, residents of the old L.P.R.C Fence in Garnerville, Japanese Freeway, protested at the Temple of Justice, accusing the former Grand Mufti of playing a double game.

The spokesperson of the group, Soko V. Kenneh, claimed that the former Grand Mufti had promised forty acres of land to them, but had only given them half of that number and was threatening to remove them from the remaining land.

The former Grand Mufti brought the matter before a court of law against them but has been absent from hearings.

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“Former Grand Mufti Abubakar Sumaworo brought us to court so that we can move from on the land but since the case was brought to court, anytime we come for hearing he’s always not around,” Soko said.

At a press conference on April 17, the spokesperson for the protesters, Soko V. Kenneh, called on the Supreme Council of Imams and Mosques Affairs to take unspecified action against the former Grand Mufti, stating that his tenure expired in 2019.

The Muslim Council Secretary General described Sumaworo’s behavior as unconstitutional per the By-laws and Constitutions of the National Muslims Council of Liberia. Meanwhile Attempts to contact Sheikh Abubakar Sumaworo for comment were unsuccessful

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