The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has called for the strengthening of unity and promotion of cooperation between the nation’s two leading religious groups, Muslims and Christians to ensure a more impactful development in the country for citizens.
Speaking at the opening of the first National Muslims Conference in Accra on Friday, Dr Bawumia welcomed the development-based vision of the Muslims Conference, adding that faith-based groups, particularly Muslims and Christians, have contributed immensely to aiding government’s development efforts,
The Annual Muslims Conference, which is organised under the auspices of the National Chief Imam and the Muslim Caucus of Parliament, seeks to bring together the various Islamic sects, as well as Muslim groups, to tackle development issues affecting Muslims in Ghana and the nation as a whole, such as education, finance and healthcare.
Whiles commending Muslim stakeholders for coming together to establish the Conference, he urged them to stay united, and also forge hands with their Christian brothers and sisters for more impactful development.
“Mr. Chairman, I am proud to say that as an immutable religious community in the country, Muslims, just like Christians have been involved in nation building,” Dr. Bawumia said.
“It is my expectation that with a concerted inter-faith effort, and in partnership with various stakeholders, especially our brothers from the Christian religious divide, the Ghana Muslims Conference will chart a path which will make meaningful contributions towards the development of our country.”
A CALL FOR STRENGTHENING OF INTER-FAITH TOLERANCE
Dr. Bawumia told his fellow Muslims that despite the peace and tolerance between Muslims and Christians in the country, there is the need to guard against endangering it, by eschewing acts which divide, and embracing acts which unite the two groups for greater peace and development for the citizenry.
“Mr. Chairman, Ghana is one of the luckiest countries in the world, where we can say we are a model of religious tolerance in the world. Muslims and Christians have been living together in peace,” Dr Bawumia said.
“However, despite the very good relationship that exists between Muslims and non-Muslims in Ghana, there is the need to deepen the peaceful co-existence among the diverse religious faithful in the country.”
“Relationships that engender peace must be grown from strength to strength; for any lapse in such relationships can be exploited by belligerent individuals and groups to destroy the hard won cordial relationships established through decades of efforts towards peaceful co-existence among various religions in the country.”
The inaugural theme of the Conference focused on the promotion of education, and Dr. Bawumia commended organisers for prioritising education, which he said remains the surest route to alleviating poverty.
The Vice President said the Free SHS policy was implemented by the Akufo-Addo government was implemented to ensure that every Ghanaian child, especially thise from excluded communities, get free access to education to at least the secondary level.
He also listed a number of educational interventions and infrastructure projects the Akufo-Addo government has provided in Zongo communities which included construction of classroom blocks, roads, bridges, water systems, health facilities, and the award of scholarships to 40 students to study medicine in Cuba.
The Conference, which will end on Sunday, August 2, was also graced by some members of the Diplomatic Corps.