President Akufo Addo has urged Christians and Muslims in the country, to continue living in peaceful coexistence as he believes Ghana’s religious cooperation and tolerance is among the best in West Africa.
“Indeed our country stands unique in West Africa, both in terms of inter and intra-religious cooperation. Ghana is home to persons of virtually every religious denomination. They all go about their religious practices without hindrance. We ought to guard this tradition of cooperation and tolerance jealously,” he said.
The President, speaking at the Eid-Ul-Fitr celebrations held at the Independence Square in Accra to mark the end of the Ramadan season of fasting, cited areas of religious collaboration in Ghana. He said cabinet’s composition being fairly represented by Muslims, and the official interfaith service of commemoration and thanksgiving held on 7th January to mark 25years of the fourth Republic in Ghana, were instances of the country’s strong religious tolerance and cooperation. “Indeed when it comes to the spirit of living together, we are the envy of many nations,” he added.
He however urged Ghanaians not to be complacent and be weary of “troublemakers and hate preachers” who could bring disunity among groups on religious lines.
Nana Addo added that his Government remained committed to the welfare of the Muslim community, having recently inaugurated the board of the Zongo Development Fund chaired by Nii Futa, Chief of Nima and also embarking on several infrastructural projects in the Zongo Communities.
“In Asawase in Kumasi for example, we have started the process of desilting the river that runs through the community. We are also building major drains in the community to stop the perennial flooding that occurs in the area that cuts it off from the rest of Kumasi during the rainy season,” he revealed.
He said, apart from physical development, talent and skills development especially for the youth were also high on the agenda. He said that the Minister for Zongo and Inner-City development, Alhaji Boniface Abubakar Siddique, had begun construction of an artificial turf for sports development among Muslim youth.
Nana Addo reiterated his government’s commitment in making education accessible to all Ghanaians. He said Government had employed 3000 instructors to teach Arabic in schools and further urged the Muslim community to take advantage of his free SHS Programme in this regard.
Nana Addo also presented an amount of 5,000 Ghana Cedis to the planning committee, in helping to put together the event and also 20, 000 Ghana Cedis to the National Chief Imam, Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, both of which were warmly received amidst appreciation from the Muslim chiefs and elders.
They asked the President to continue his support for this year’s Hajj pilgrimage to be a success as has been done in previous years.