The Zongo Chief of Kpedze in the Volta Region, Alhaji Iddrisu Eliasu, has praised President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his government for the far-reaching policies to address the basic needs of the ordinary Ghanaian.
Alhaji Eliasu said he was pleased with the manner in which the government was trying to lessen the burden on Zongo people by not just giving them perishables such as rice and sugar but implementing policies that guaranteed them sustainable livelihoods.
“Your Excellency, we are very happy that you have joined us. We have always needed somebody to come and help the Zongos. We are glad your government has come and is doing just that.
“Many governments have come and gone, but none prioritised the plight of the Zongos. Your government has come to show us so much love by ending the era of governments giving the Zongos just rice and sugar. No, we don’t need that. Rather, we need your Planting for Food and Jobs, free senior high school (SHS), Zongo Development Fund, Arabic teaching and the many social interventions you have rolled out. We think the era of rice and sugar should be over,” Chief Eliasu said.
“Just yesterday we collected our fertiliser under the Planting for Food and Jobs programme and, thankfully, there is rain today. Tomorrow, we will be applying the fertiliser,” he added.
The Zongo Chief said this when the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, joined his Muslim brothers and sisters to worship Allah and pray for the nation as part of his Ramadan Tour to the Volta Region last Saturday.
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Alhaji Eliasu added that the Zongos were also taking part in the Planting for Food and Export programme, saying: “I don’t think we now have any excuse for poverty and that our children shouldn’t go to school up to JHS. For that, we are very grateful,” he emphasised.
He paid special tribute to Vice-President Bawumia for fulfilling the promise he made to the people of Kpedze in the run-up to the 2016 elections.
“Your Excellency, you were here in 2016 as running mate. Today, you are here as Vice-President and we pray that you will come back here in 2021 as Vice-President.
“You were here as a candidate and made a promise, which has been fulfilled, leading to the take-off of our Islamic school here in the Zongo, the first and only one in the district,” Chief Eliasu recounted.
Dr Bawumia started his three-day Ramadan Tour from the Oti Region on May 10, 2019, where he visited mosques, as well as chiefs and people, in communities such as Dambai, Kwamekrom and Kadjebi.
The three-day tour saw him visit a number of mosques in the Oti, Volta and Eastern regions, during which he joined fellow Muslims to pray for Ghana as they fasted.
It was the first phase of a nationwide Ramadan Tour.
The Vice-President will take the tour to all the 16 regions of the country to worship and pray with adherents of the Islamic faith.
In the Volta Region, Dr Bawumia visited communities such as Kpando, Kpedze and Dzodze.
In each community, he worshipped and prayed in the mosques and also called on the chiefs and the people of Kpedze and Dzodze at the chiefs’ palaces.
Addressing the congregation of Muslims at the mosque in Kpedze, the Vice-President called for peace and unity among members of the Islamic faith, as well as the need for acceptance and tolerance across various faiths in the country, particularly between Muslims and Christians.
“Currently, we enjoy real peace and harmony between Muslims and Christians, largely because we tolerate and accept each other, despite our diversity in faith. We should not take this precious commodity (peace) for granted, since the absence of it means anything worse one can think of,” he admonished.
He added that “as a country, our growth and development lies in our unity and we must do everything possible to preserve that.”
The Vice-President was joined by the Volta Regional Minister, Dr Yao Archibald Letsa; the Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Mr Kofi Dzamesi, and the Minister of Inner Cities and Zongo Development, Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid.
Others were a Deputy Information Minister, Mr Pius Enam Hadzide; a Minister of State at the Presidency, Mr Abubakar Boniface, and other government officials.