Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia
Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has stated that the government is focused on bridging the development gaps between less privileged and affluent communities for the overall growth of the country.
“As a government, we believe that all efforts must be made to get rid of any form of exclusion, regardless of which community is involved, be it Christian, Muslim or any other community, as we are one people with a common destiny,” he asserted.
Speaking at the opening of the second edition of the National Muslim Conference (NMC) in Accra last Thursday, Dr. Bawumia noted that it is for this reason the Akufo-Addo administration was pursuing “an inclusive development agenda,” through the creation of development vehicles for respective communities.
He named the development vehicles as the Coastal Development Authority, Middle Belt Development Authority, Northern Development Authority and the Zongo Development Fund.
He pointed out that aside from the inclusive development policies by the government, there should be the need for intra-faith dialogues and greater engagements between the nation’s two leading religious groups, Muslims and Christians, to proffer strategies and plans, in collaboration with the government, to mitigate the day-to-day challenges facing the people.
According to the Vice President, Ghanaian Muslims have always joined hands with their Christian counterparts towards nation building.
“As far back as 1932, Muslims in the Gold Coast were alive to their responsibilities and had formed the Gold Coast Muslim Association, which was established as a welfare and social association,” he pointed out.
Dr. Bawumia said, “There is no doubt that Ghanaian Muslims and Christians are unique and are able to join hands, work together and excel in various fields – from sports to politics.”
“The beautiful spectre of a Jummah congregation around Nima Roundabout in Accra extending to the frontage of a church premises, the sight of a National Imam in a Chapel to exchange pleasantries with Christian leaders, and a Christian President teaming up with a Muslim Vice President, in the case of my boss and I, are some of the beautiful examples of what Muslims and Christians can do together at our work places, communities and the nation, once we continue to tolerate each other and show respect to our religious diversity,” he added.
He commended leaders of the NMC for their vision, and urged them to protect the enviable peace and unity between Muslims and Christians by joining hands with their Christian counterparts to strive for a collective national development, as key national stakeholders.
Dr. Bawumia also called on them to prioritise education and get their community members to take full advantage of the government’s expansion of free access to education.
He said, “Education is the surest way of empowering people, accelerating development and alleviating poverty.”
National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, stressed on the need to strengthen tolerance, peace and unity in the country.
He urged the nation to continuously be grateful to God for the grace bestowed on Ghana as a peaceful nation in the midst of conflicts in the sub-region.
The National Muslim Conference is a coalition of Muslim sects and stakeholders under the auspices of the National Chief Imam and the Muslim Caucus of Parliament.
The objectives of the NMC are to bring all Muslims together to contribute meaningfully towards the welfare of its community members and national development.
At the end of the conference, the NMC issued a communique committing its members to intra-faith unity in diversity to galavanise the Muslim community in Ghana for sustainable communal and national development.
“We are poised to confront and surmount the socio-economic challenges facing the Muslim community in Ghana,” the communique added.
By Ernest Kofi Adu