President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has assured the Muslim community in Ghana that his government remains committed to their welfare.
According to President Akufo-Addo, at last yearâ€™s Eid, he pledged the establishment of the Zongo Development Fund to help cater for the development needs of the Zongo communities, as promised in the 2016 NPP manifesto.
â€œI am happy to report that the Fund has been set up, and, on Monday, 11th June, I inaugurated its Board, under the chairmanship of a distinguished Muslim, the Chief of Nima, Alhaji Mohammed Farl, popularly called Nii Futa. Already, the Minister responsible for Zongo and Inner-City Development, the hardworking Hon. Alhaji Boniface Abubakar Siddique, MP for Madina, has been busy about his mission,â€ he said.
The President continued, â€œDevelopment projects have started in many Zongo communities around the country. In Asawase, in Kumasi, for example, we have started the process of desilting the Pelele 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, and cuts it off from the rest of Kumasi during the rainy season.â€
President Akufo-Addo made this known on Friday, 15th June, 2018, at the Eid Prayers held at the Independence Square.
Apart from physical development, he stated that his government aims to roll out a comprehensive programme that develops the talents of young men and women in the Zongos.
Making reference to several Muslim footballing icons, President Akufo-Addo indicated that â€œwe want deliberately to establish the conditions that allow our young talented Zongo youth to engage and develop their talents. To this end, the Zongo Development Minister is building Astro Turfs in Zongo communities to create a conducive environment for the training and development of sporting talent. The one being constructed in Madina, here in Accra, should be a good model.â€
Additionally, the President stated that the Vice President of the Republic, Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, continues to engage with Muslim communities around the country, so that Government is constantly keeping abreast with the challenges of Muslim communities.
â€œHe just completed his annual Ramadan tour, that brought him to many of the mosques across all ten regions of Ghana. For the second year running, he has held an Iftar (fast breaking event) at the Jubilee House with Muslims of all persuasions. I want to assure you that this is a tradition we intend to keep so long as, by the grace of God, we inhabit the Jubilee House,â€ he assured.
On his Governmentâ€™s commitment to education, the President urged Muslims to heed to the Words of the Prophet Mohammed, who said â€œknowledge is the lost property of a Muslim; let him seek it wherever he may find it.â€
â€œMy government is committed to making education accessible to all, so that we are not just educated for life, but Muslims also fulfil their our religious duty. I urge you to take advantage of the free Senior High School programme to ensure the education of your children, especially the Muslim girl. Government has also engaged some three thousand Arabic instructors to teach Arabic studies in schools,â€ he stressed.
Reiterating his passion for the development of women, President Akufo-Addo appealed to Muslims to pay as much attention to the education of female children they do to the education of male children.
The President paid tribute to the leadership of the learned National Chief Imam, Shaykh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, for his leadership and guidance of the Muslim Ummah in Ghana.
â€œShaykh, it is to your credit that the Muslim Ummah continues to live in harmony with one another. We pray for Allahâ€™s continuous blessing for you. If Islam is to live up to its accolade as a religion of peace, it behooves on all Muslims to embrace one another, irrespective of doctrinal differences,â€ he added.