General News of Friday, 6 March 2015
President John Mahama says his government is not against the decision by the various religious groups in the country to work together to find an amicable resolution to the raging debate over religious rights in mission schools.
Accordingly, the President said he has directed the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) to work with the National Peace Council to resolve the simmering impasse.
Addressing the 58th Independence Day celebration in Accra Friday, Mr Mahama said the development is worrying and must be immediately addressed.
“Government is not averse to the use of inter-faith channels and dialogue to resolve any disagreements amongst our different faith groups.
“Our diversity must be a source of strength, not a weakness. Our diversity should be harnessed for the realisation of our national interest.
“Each and every one of us, in our ethnic and cultural diversity, contributes in a unique way to make our nation great and strong,” he stated.
The President’s comments follow press statements and counter-statements issued by various Christian and Muslim groups over the debate.
On Wednesday, various Muslim groups in the country jointly issued a statement expressing qualms about the “uncompromising” pronouncements made by some Christian groups concerning the controversy over religious rights abuses in schools and workplaces, particularly as regards Muslims in mission schools.
The statement, signed on behalf of the Chief Imam by Sheikh Armiyawo Shaibu and Sheikh Dr. Amin Bonsu said the obdurate stance taken by the Christian Council, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference, the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), regarding the Muslim community’s demand for freedom of worship in educational institutions and workplaces in Ghana, could undermine the peace and harmonious coexistence between the two faiths in the country.