The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has called on Ghanaian youth, especially those in Zongo communities, to resist any attempt to get them drafted into anti-social activities, especially political vigilantism.
He asked them to rather concentrate on tackling the major concerns of the Zongo communities, including jobs, education, and business development, thereby forming ‘Job-lantes, Edu-lantes and Busi-lantes’ to promote their welfare and the development of the nation.
A statement from the Media Office of the Vice-President said Dr Bawumia made the call at the celebration of the birth of Prophet Mohammed (SAW) in Kumasi yesterday.
The Vice-President expressed worry that many of the people alleged to be engaged in political vigilantism and other anti-social behaviour were said to be drawn from the Zongo communities.
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"Allah has blessed Zongo youth with multiple positive attributes and talents such as strength, courage, knowledge, sports skill, entrepreneurship, vocational skill and so on and I want to urge the youth of this country, particularly my dear brothers in the Zongo communities, to put their God-given talents to good use for their own benefit and for the benefit of their respective families, communities, as well as the nation.
"The youth of our country, particularly my brothers from the Zongo communities, should not, under any circumstance, avail themselves to be used for any illegal activity which also poses great risks to their valuable and cherished lives,” he advised.
Dr Bawumia urged the youth involved in the operations of the various political parties to exhibit a great sense of tolerance during intra-party and inter-party contests.
“For the Zongo and Muslim youth, it is even more important and an obligation to be tolerant and peaceful in accordance with the teachings of our beloved Prophet Mohammed," he stressed.
He said it was instructive that the politicians who encouraged political vigilantism and recruited people for the purpose did not involve their children in such activities.
"They come to you and tell you to go and perpetuate violence and other acts while their own children are in school, doing good jobs or abroad working to better their lives.
When these politicians come to you, ask them why they are not using their own children to do what they're asking you to do," he told the Zongo youth.
Vice-President Bawumia sounded a note of caution to persons engaged in such activities, emphasising that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had publicly indicated his resolve to crack down on political vigilantism and would deal ruthlessly with anyone engaged in such activities.
The government, he said, would continue to invest in policies and programmes designed to provide jobs and improve Ghana's human capital, including the free senior high school programme, Planting for Food and Jobs, One Village, One Dam and the Nation Builders Corps (NaBCo).
"Also, the government is set to undertake massive infrastructural development in the roads and other construction sectors this year and this will create employment opportunities for many of our skilled and unskilled youth across the country," he added.
The Vice-President urged Muslim youth to be "positive ambassadors of our great religion by eschewing violence and intolerance”, adding that “under no circumstance should we allow ourselves to be used as destructive tools to perpetrate violence and all sorts of unacceptable acts.”