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Laribanga Mosque tour guard tells authorities ancient mosque needs a fenced wall


Caretakers of the largest ancient mosque in West Africa, the Laribanga Mosque, have urged the West Gonja District Assembly and the Ghana Tourism Authority to turn their attention on the mosque.
The mosque attracts hundreds of tourists who troop in to catch a glimpse of it.

The mud-built and wooden decked mosque receives over thousands of tourists, both local and international, with some seeking Allah’s blessings while others also pray to Allah to heal their illnesses.

Regrettably, the caretakers are sometimes denied the peanut they take for the maintenance of the facility due to its open nature. According to the caretakers, the mystic mosque is in dire need of a fenced wall to regulate visitors activities.

An officer in charge at the ecotourism office in Laribanga, Abdulai Alhassan told Zaa news more revenue is needed for the mosque’s annual maintenance and also for the development of the Laribanga community.

The fenced wall, he further explained, will enable the tour guards to control visitors and explain to them the history of the mosque.

The mosque was built in 1421 by an Arabian consultant, Yidana Ibrahim who at that time doubled as the spiritual leader of the king of Gonjaland, Ndewura Jakpa.

However, folklore has it that it mystically built itself. A tour guard Abubakar Seidu told Zaa News that elders say the mosque was started by Ibrahim, but mystically increased in size on a daily basis till it reached the completion stage.

“The tourists sometimes take pictures before we even sight them and by then they are reluctant to pay anything to us when we explain to them the need to pay,” Mr Alhassan added. Foreigners, he explained, pay five Ghana cedis (GH ₵5) while Ghanaians pay three Ghana cedis (GH ₵ 3) .

Topping the list of visitors, he said are tertiary and senior high school students as well as primary school pupils on excursion. An average of over thousand tourists visits the Laribanga mosque annually, according to the tour guard.

An appeal which was made for the construction of the fence to the former northern regional minister, Alhaji Mohammed-Muniru Limuna now Food and Agriculture Minister who visited the mosque with the Ghana’s tourism minister
is yet to yield positive results.

The former minister, according to the guard over seven months ago directed the West Gonja District assembly to construct the fenced wall, but the directive is yet to be adhered to.

Tour guards who took Zaa News down memory lane believed that with a proper fence around the mosque, it could attract a lot more pleasure-seekers to generate enough revenue for the construction of the fence without government’s support.

The mosque located at the north eastern part of the mole national park, the tour guard explained, has four main entrances, two dedicated solely for the Chief Imam and the Muezzin who calls for prayers or Azaan during normal working days and opened to congregants on Fridays.

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