Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the vice president, has asked the National Muslim Conference (NMC) leadership to work with other faith-based organizations and partner governments to promote inclusive development for the benefit of the nation.
The National Chief Imam and the Muslim Caucus of Parliament oversee the National Muslim Conference, a collaboration of Muslim sects and interests.
The NMC’s goals are to unite all Muslims so they can constructively contribute to the welfare of their community and to the advancement of their country.
On Thursday, September 22, Dr. Bawumia gave a speech at the second edition of the NMC’s opening ceremony in Accra. He praised the NMC for its commitment to national development and urged its leadership to work with other Christians to advance collective national development as important national stakeholders in order to preserve the admirable harmony and peace between Muslims and Christians.
“Having carefully studied the Deed of the Conference, I came to the understanding that the NMC is seeking to galvanise the energies, human and material resources of the Muslim Ummah (community) in Ghana to spur national leaders of the Muslim Community into action for the collective growth of the Ummah and Ghana as a whole,” Dr. Bawumia said.
“The NMC could not have chosen any growth and developmental indicators better than the four thematic pillars and objectives captured under the Deed of the NMC, namely; Education, Health, Finance and Economic Empowerment of the Muslim Ummah in Ghana.
“The thematic areas would not only find space in the development agenda of Government, but are also in conformity with the developmental agenda of the African continent and the United Nations.”
The Vice President noted further that, for government, bridging the development gaps between less privileged communities and others, remains a priority, for the over all growth of the country.
“As a government, we believe that all efforts must be made to get rid of any form of exclusion, regardless of which community is involved, be it Christian, Muslim or any other community, as we are one people with a common destiny.”
“It is the reason our government has pursued an inclusive development agenda, through the creation of development vehicles for respective communities, such as the Coastal Development Authority, Middle Belt Development Authority, Northern Development Authority and the Zongo Development Fund.
Dr. Bawumia stressed that aside such inclusive development policies by government, there is the need for intra-faith dialogues, as well as greater engagements between the nation’s two leading religious grouos (Muslims and Christians) to proffer strategies and plans, in collaboration with government, to mitigate the day-to-today challenges facing the people.
“Ghanaian Muslims have always joined their hands with their Christian counterparts towards nation building. As far back as 1932, Muslims in the Gold Coast were alive to their responsibilities and had formed the Gold Coast Muslim Association, which was established as a welfare and social association.
“There is no doubt that Ghanaian Muslims and Christians are unique and are able to join hands, work together and excel in various fields – from sports to politics.
“The beautiful spectre of a Jummah congregation around Nima Roundabout in Accra extending to the frontage of a Church premises, the sight of a National Imam in a Chapel to exchange pleasantries with Christian leaders and a Christian President teaming up with a Muslim Vice President, in the case of my boss and I, are some of the beautiful examples of what Muslims and Christians can do together at our work places, communities and the nation, once we continue to tolerate each other and show respect to our religious diversity.”
Dr. Bawumia praised NMC leaders for their vision while urging them to prioritize education and encourage their neighbors to benefit from the government’s expansion of free access to school since “education is the surest method to empower people, accelerate development, and alleviate poverty.”
Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, the country’s national chief imam, emphasized the necessity of fostering tolerance, peace, and unity in the nation and urged the populace to remain grateful to God for the grace He has bestowed on the nation as a peaceful nation in the midst of conflicts in the sub-region.