Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia receiving a citation from Chief Is-hak Sulleman (3rd from right), General Secretary of the National Council of Zongo Chiefs, at the Eid-ul-Adha prayers. With them are other chiefs. Picture: SAMUEL TEI ADANO
Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia receiving a citation from Chief Is-hak Sulleman (3rd from right), General Secretary of the National Council of Zongo Chiefs, at the Eid-ul-Adha prayers. With them are other chiefs. Picture: SAMUEL TEI ADANO

December polls: Focus on policies, not religion - Dr Bawumia advises electorate

The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has stated that the December 7 election should be about policies, ideas and solutions that the respective candidates have for the country other than religion or religious differences.


Speaking at this year’s Eid-ul-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice) prayers at the Black Star Square in Accra yesterday, Dr Bawumia said underpinning the peace that the country was enjoying as one of the most peaceful on the continent “is our religious tolerance.”

He therefore advised Muslims to continue to uphold the beautiful national value of respecting diversity, especially in religion and ethnicity, and said it was essential to community, national and human existence.

He said Muslims must be inspired by acts of selflessness and sacrifice by caring for each other and also sacrificing for worthy causes for the betterment of their families and communities.

“We live as Muslims and Christians in harmony. We are one people, we are one nation and we should let this election be about the policies and ideas and solutions that the respective candidates have for the country and that should be what we should be focusing on,” Dr Bawumia stressed.


Eid-ul-Adha is a special and significant day on the Islamic calendar when Muslims remember the exemplary display of obedience, selflessness and sacrifice by prophet Ibrahim, who obeyed Allah’s command without hesitation to sacrifice his only beloved son, Ismail.

The Vice-President said Prophet Ibrahim set the ultimate example of sacrifice and obedience, which was impossible for any of the worshippers to replicate. However, he said, they had to emulate the sacrificial spirit of prophet Ibrahim in their own little ways to help one another in their communities and the nation.

Global events

While commending Ghanaians for their sacrifices and understanding, Dr Bawumia explained that global events in the past three to four years had had a significant impact on nations and their citizens.

He said Ghana had not been spared, thereby stretching the sacrifices of many. He said Ghana, just like the rest of the world, was virtually shut for days and its land borders closed to economic activities for about two years.

That, Dr Bawumia explained, led to a series of uncomfortable situations for the citizens, including the sudden rise in inflation, especially for food prices, around this time last year.

“These developments required lots of sacrifices by Ghanaians as government tried to ameliorate the impact. Even though it was not pleasant for many Ghanaians, many understood the situation and sacrificed as government worked round the clock to find solutions, including a number of measures,” he said.

Vice-President Bawumia said: “Even though we are not where we want to be, that is, back to the economic boom we experienced few years prior to the crisis, the data shows that our economy is on the path of economic recovery.”

As a government, he said: “We appreciate the cooperation and sacrifices Ghanaians continue to make in the challenging times we have experienced in the past few years and government had on its part significantly cut down a general expenditure.”

Indeed, he said, more had to be done in order to sustain the gains being made to ameliorate the effect on Ghanaians.

Government’s commitment

In spite of the global economic crisis, Dr Bawumia said the government had remained committed to delivering on its mandate to Ghanaians in all sectors of the economy, especially education, health, agriculture, infrastructure and job creation.

In the area of jobs, for instance, he indicated that “data clearly shows over the last seven years that our government has created 2.1 million jobs, the highest by any government in the Fourth Republic but we still have more to do.”

“We have done a lot in the area of infrastructure, roads construction, health care and education through the Free Senior High School (SHS) programme. “We have seen an increase in the enrolment of students from 800,000 in 2016 to 1.4 million by 2023, a 75 per cent increase in just seven years,” he emphasised, adding that “we have also invested in STEM education with state-of-the-art facilities to provide the best in this contemporary area of education,” he said.

The Vice-President said the government had also begun the distribution of tablets to SHS graduates, saying “we have to continue to prioritise and spend more on education and skills training because it is the best way to empower the youth of this country and place value on our most important national resource.”

Zongo Development Fund

Touching on the Zongo Development Fund, he said, it had been the main driver of infrastructure and human development supporting many Zongo communities in the form of schools, bridges, drainage, water systems, health facilities, information and communication centres, and astro turfs.

Also, he said a number of individuals and groups had received support in skills training, entrepreneurship support, tertiary education grants and full foreign education in scholarships.


“It is our expectation that the 40 needy, brilliant young men and women from Zongo communities who were granted scholarships to study medicine in Cuba will return home soon as fully qualified medical doctors,” Dr Bawumia indicated, saying, “This is what investing in education can do, creating opportunities, empowering the youth, breaking boundaries and making the seemingly impossible possible.”

He expressed appreciation to the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, and asked for his continuous support as he sought the mandate of Ghanaians to serve the nation as President.


The Chief Imam, in a speech read on his behalf, expressed profound gratitude to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for his utmost respect, support, courtesies, reverence, assistance and visits during his tenure.

He said those were gestures and kindness he would never forget. The Chief Imam also thanked Vice-President Bawumia for taking over the expenses of all Eid celebrations since becoming Vice-President.


In this year’s elections, Sheikh Sharubutu advised all political parties not to allow their political differences to give rise to conflicts, disorder and violence. “Your blood relationship should not be destroyed on the basis of your disagreements,”he said, and urged the parties to hold together as brothers and sisters.

He further called on the Electoral Commission (EC) to take all the necessary steps to ensure credible and peaceful elections by maintaining the principles of impartiality, transparency, fairness and a high level of proficiency.

The Chief Imam also asked the Ghana Police Service to maintain a high standard of professionalism, fairness and impartiality.

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