By Magdi El Gizouli
Instead of Sadiq al-Mahdi, the imam of the Ansar, it was Abd al-Mahmoud Abbo, the Secretary General of the Ansar Welfare Association, who led the prayer last Friday in Sayed Abd al-Rahman al-Mahdi mosque in Wad Nubawi, Omdurman. For a few weeks the mosque became a refuge for the Girifna/ChangeNow crowd in their surge against the National Congress Party (NCP), an occupation that the National Umma Party (NUP) leadership tolerated but did not necessarily welcome, particularly when banners of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in North Sudan (SPLM-N) were hoisted above the heads of the protestors. Speaking from the pulpit Abbo distanced his flock from the agitation of the “alleged revolutionaries” as he called them and made it clear that the mosque was a site of worship and not a political platform. Bluntly phrased he told the protesters to camp elsewhere.
The author is a fellow of the Rift Valley Institute. He publishes regular opinion articles and analyses at his blog Still Sudan.