Govt will promote inclusive society - Prez Akufo-Addo
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Tuesday joined Muslims to celebrate this year’s Eid-ul-Adha at the Black Star Square in Accra, during which he expressed the commitment of the government to pursue goals and policies that would ensure the fair distribution of development to all segments of the Ghanaian society
said a key component of the society of inclusion was ensuring that every Ghanaian child had the opportunity of a lifetime to develop his or her potential.
Using the Hajj as an analogy of how a society of inclusion should be built, the President explained that during the Hajj, all pilgrims wore white apparel of the same style and make.
“Therefore, when we look at a sea of pilgrims, we are unable to distinguish the rich from the poor, the high from the low and the powerful from the weak. Everybody assumes equality before the Lord,” he said.
“In the same way, we are determined to ensure that the laws of our country do not discriminate against people under any circumstance,” he stated.
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Eid-ul-Adha is a Muslim festival of sacrifice commemorating Prophet Ibrahim’s test of faith when he was commanded by Allah to sacrifice his son Ismail.
Muslims believe that God spared the boy and instead replaced him with a ram for the sacrifice.
The occasion also brings Muslims to the final rites of the Hajj in Saudi Arabia.
The Chief Imam, Sheikh Usman Nuhu Sharabutu, led the faithful in prayer and later slaughtered some animals to mark the occasion.
A minute’s silence was observed in memory of the late former United Nations Secretary-General, Mr Kofi Annan.
President Akufo-Addo said he sought to become President specifically to make the sacrifices that were required to ensure the economic and social transformation of the country.
“It is in pursuit of this objective of social inclusion that I established the Ministry of Inner City and Zongo Development. Our goal is to create a society of equal opportunities for all and we shall not relent until we achieve it,” he added.
He called on Ghanaians to draw lessons from Prophet Ibrahim’s example and sacrifice for the development of the country.
As President, he said, he had made ‘sacrifice’ his watchword and advised Muslims to not just see the Eid as a festival to engross themselves in only merry-making but also as one of sacrifice, devotion and commitment to nation building.
“I was born into a family where sacrifice and service to others are considered a sacred duty. I pledge to you that I shall continue to sacrifice my all to ensure that I leave a legacy of peace and progress for coming generations,” he told the large congregation of Muslims who gathered for the Eid prayers.
He assured Ghanaians that he would not relent in admonishing his appointees to cultivate the same spirit of sacrifice that spurred the country’s forebears.
He said he sought the will of the people for the highest position of the land to specifically make sacrifices that would engender economic and social transformation for the people.
Touching on the teachings of the Holy Quran on the relationship between Muslims and Christians, the President said the Holy Book described Christians as the greatest allies and closest to Muslims in love.
“I am a Christian; I am your ally,” he assured the Muslim faithful, adding that through the ministries of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs and Inner City and Zongo Development, he would continue to collaborate with the Muslim community for the total transformation of Ghana.
He commended the Chief Imam, under whose leadership Ghana continued to be the envy of the rest of the world, particularly because of the excellent relationship that had existed between Christians and Muslims.
Touching on the recent killing of seven young Muslim men by some policemen in the Ashanti Region, the President assured the Muslim community that the government would implement the recommendations that would be made by the committee established to investigate the circumstances that led to their death.
He urged the youth of Asawase to continue to exercise restraint and remain law-abiding while the committee did its work.
President Akufo-Addo used the occasion to introduce the new Minister for Inner City and Zongo Development, Dr Sheikh Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, to the congregation.
Dr Abdul-Hamid has replaced Alhaji Boniface Abubakar Saddique, who has been posted to the Office of the Vice- President as a Minister of State.
The President expressed the hope that the new minister would continue with the impressive work that his predecessor did and ensure the fulfilment of the pledge by the government to accelerate the pace of development in Zongo communities.
He asked the congregation to pray for travelling mercies for those who had gone to Mecca, especially his Vice, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, and his wife, Hajia Samira Bawumia, and the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama.
The Chairman of the Eid Planning Committee, Alhaji Alhassan A. Sulley, commended the President for the development projects in the Zongos, especially the recreational grounds that were diverting the attention of the youth from anti-social activities.
He said the Muslim community was also grateful for the decision of the President to build a park complex to be named after the Chief Imam, Sheikh Sharabutu.