President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged Muslims, residents of Zongos, and persons of inner communities to participate in the ongoing nationwide consultative fora on the use of the Zongo Development Fund, when it becomes operational.
According to President Akufo-Addo, participation in the consultative fora will afford residents the opportunity to “contribute ideas that will enable us fashion out a blueprint that will be acceptable and practicable, and which will inure to the benefit of all people in Zongo and inner cities. It is time we brought prosperity to all parts of our country”.
The President made this appeal on Monday, June 26, 2017, when he delivered a speech at the Edi al-Fitr prayers at the Independence Square, his first Eid as President of the Republic.
It will be recalled that in the 2017 Asempa Budget, the Akufo-Addo government allocated GH¢219 million as seed money for the establishment of the Zongo Development Fund.
To ensure the judicious and prudent management of this Fund, government is in the process of fashioning out the Zongo Development Fund Law, which, when enacted by Parliament, will trigger the use of the money for the development of Zongo communities.
Currently, the Minister for Zongo and Inner City Development, Hon. Boniface Abubakar Siddique, is undertaking a nationwide consultative process on the use of the Fund.
President Akufo-Addo also reiterated the fact that his government has lived up to its commitments to all Muslims in the country, and to persons who live in our Zongo communities.
“We have lived our manifesto commitment to appoint, first, a Minister responsible for Zongo and Inner City Development, and also to establish a Zongo Development Fund,” he added.
Pray for wisdom for me
President Akufo-Addo urged the Muslim gathering to pray to God for wisdom for him and members of his government, “that we may govern in accordance with His will”.
The President also paid glowing tribute to the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Dr Osman Nuhu Sharubutu.
“You are a true icon of our generation. Your actions bear accurate testimony to the principles that inspired the founding fathers of our nation, who taught us that, in spite of our differences, we are one people with a common destiny. You epitomize the Islamic principle of peace,” he said.
He continued, “You live the Qur’anic statement that states that those who are nearest to Muslims in brotherhood are the Christians. Your attitude has helped to ensure the high levels of religious tolerance that exist in our country. We continue to pray for good health and long life for you, so that we may continue to savour the benefits of your wisdom.”
With Muslims having cultivated the virtues of tolerance, devotion and discipline in the month of Ramadan, President Akufo-Addo noted that these are virtues that must stand Muslims in good stead, even after Ramadan.
“I, thus, urge all of us to continue in these principles for the greater good of our nation and ourselves. We have a right to make merry and celebrate. But let us celebrate and make merry in moderation. I pray for a trouble-free and accident-free Eid celebration,” he added.