New Upper West Chief Imam, Alhaji Osman Kanihi

Eighty-seven-year-old Alhaji Osman Mahama Kanihi has been coronated as the new Upper West regional chief Imam.

He is the 32nd Chief Imam to be coronated since imamate started in the year 1650 in Wa.

Alhaji Osman Mahama Kanihi took over from Alhaji Issahaku Yakubu who passed on in July 2019 after being at the helm of the affairs of the Muslim Ummah in the region for 36 years.

The coronation was well attended by people from all walks of life including all the 12 recognized sects in Wa and the 7 Limanyiri clans. They were all exquisitely and gorgeously dressed in white apparel

Several hundred anxious onlookers lined up the Insurance Road in Wa to catch a glimpse of the new regional chief Imam in the making.

The forecourt of the Wanaaa’s palace was full to the rafters and every inch of blade of space was covered as both the young and the old  tried to see how the new regional chief imam would be coronated because for majority of the sea of people gathered, it was their first time in their lives to witness such an event.

More importantly and exciting for them to see the first Quran that was brought to Wa by the first Imam, Sheih Ya-Umaru from Mali three hundred and sixty-nine ago.

The coronation kick-started with the family of Liman Yakuba (family of the immediate past chief imam)  handing over the regalia to be used for the coronation to the Yerinaa, Froko, Tindamba and the Wanaa first for inspection to ensure that they were the right regalia that was handed over to them when Imam Alhaji Issahaku was coronated in 1984.

The new Imam was first made to singularly perform two rakat open prayer before the responsibility of wearing him the over 300 years old gown fell on the Froko clan which they did with dexterity. He was handed over the handwritten Quran and a staff.

Alhaji Osman Mahama Kanihi by the coronation becomes the first person from the Imam Seidu gate to be coronated as chief imam of Wa since imam Abdul Malik in 1935.

In a message read on his behalf by Alhaji Zeidu Taminu, thanked all the seven clans of Limanyiri for the confidence reposed in him, promising that he won’t let them down.

He was full of praise for Frokos,Yerinamine, Tindamba and Wa Naa Fuseini Seidu Pelpuo IV remarking that strong tradition is their strength as people

‘.I know you are a strong advocate for development, you have always supported the state in ensuring that it carries out its development agenda unhindered. I will endeavour to support you in that regard.


Upper West regional minister, Dr Hafiz Bin Salih in a speech read on his behalf by the Wa Municipal Chief Executive, Alhaji Tahiru Issahaku Moomin in a congratulatory message advised the new regional chief imam not to use his position to lord over the people but work to serve the interest of the people.

”You should not treat your subjects with contempt or brag over them. Leadership is about service and you must be down to earth and ensure that you work to bring your people together and make them happy, ”the minister added.

By: Joy News/Rafiq Salam

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