President John Atta Mills yesterday joined Muslims in a national thanksgiving prayer to Allah for GhanaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s peaceful election and transition of power, and renewed his promise to make the development of deprived areas a top priority.
He stressed that peace is a catalyst to national development and urged Ghanaians to let religion be a unifying factor as the nation strove for progress and better lives for the people.
Addressing a crowd of congregants on the grounds of the Abossey Okai Central Mosque in Accra, President Atta Mills said the development of deprived areas was in line with the tenet of equality, and called for the support of Ghanaians, as one people with a common destiny to give of their best.
The prayer gathering, which was at the instance of the President, was on the theme; Ã¢â‚¬Å“Holding On Fast To The Rope of Allah As One People.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The President said: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Our main pre-occupation is to make sure we create equal opportunities for Ghanaians.Ã¢â‚¬Â
He entreated Ghanaians to Ã¢â‚¬Å“constantly seek the face of Allah in the face of difficulties,Ã¢â‚¬Â for God to make Ghana greater and stronger.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m here today in this moment of victory to give praise and thanks to Allah. We thank Allah for his bountiful blessings. As usual Allah gave us more than we asked for,Ã¢â‚¬Â President Atta Mills said.
He also thanked the Muslim community, the media, his competitors at the last elections, the Council of Churches, the Electoral Commission and the Security Services for their role in the success of the elections.
The President said Ghana cemented her democratic credentials by her success at the last elections, and there was no room for violence, dispute but rather progress through hard work guided by divine direction.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“There can be no development without peace. We need to pray to Allah for wisdom grace and direction. Without AllahÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s partnership, we travail in vain,Ã¢â‚¬Â the President said.
He stressed the need for love for one another as a solid foundation for the building of a better life for Ghanaians.
Sheik Dr. Osman Nuhu Sharabutu, the National Chief Imam, led the prayer after which Alhaji Mahama Gado Mohammed, a Spokesman for the Chief Imam, extolled the intervention of God in the last elections which he described as Ã¢â‚¬Å“bullock event, characterised by tension.Ã¢â‚¬Â
He thanked the President and the flagbearers of other parties for exercising restraint to avert violence.
Alhaji Mohammed said with the elections over, Ghanaians needed to develop faith and mutual trust in
the process of governing the nation, stressing focus, planning and implementation to realize the aspirations of the people of Ghana.
Alhaji Hudu Yahaya, a Deputy National Chairman of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), said the country’s peaceful transition from one government to the other was Allah’s doing and a land with no peace bears no happiness.
He said the illiteracy rate in Ghana is very high, especially in the Muslim communities, and appealed to the Muslim communities to take advantage of the education policies to be implemented by the government as promised in the NDC manifesto.
Alhaji Yahaya said Ghanaians should support the security services by being law abiding and exposing persons who would want to disturb the peace in the country.
He cautioned against bending the laws for personal benefit.
The prayer was attended by some Minister appointees, Parliamentarians, Imams, chiefs and the general public.
The Chief Imam, in the presence of President Atta Mills, slaughtered a white cow presented by government as part of the thanksgiving prayer service.
A similar Christian thanksgiving prayer service is scheduled for Sunday at the Independence Square.