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01.10.2008 Social News

Stay away from violence - Sharabutu

By Helena Selby wirh GNA files - Ghanaian Chronicle
Stay away from violence  - Sharabutu

The National Chief Imam, Dr. Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, has urged the Muslim community not to allow themselves to be used negatively during this year's elections.

He instead, called on them to comport themselves, and make their own choices, as directed by the Holy Quaran. Speaking at the celebration of Eidul Fitri, in Accra yesterday, he called on followers of Islam to share genuine love and compassion, and eschew selfishness, hypocrisy and exhibit tolerance, respect for one another, especially the leadership, and be law-abiding.

He reminded them that the strength, progress and development of the Muslim community, was largely dependent on the unity of its members.

“There is however the need to work together and strengthen the spirit of genuine brotherhood, solidarity, fraternity and cooperation which are the foundation of unity,” he added.

He noted that the Muslim community must make it a habit to inculcate virtues like friendliness, hospitality, forgiveness, fairness in dealings, kind treatment for inferiors, respect for women, care for orphans, and helping the helpless and the destitute.

The Chief Imam mentioned that unlike secularism, capitalism and communism, Islam was built on the correct worldview, which is compatible with the human being. According to him Islam, does not ignore the human being's instincts or desires, but organises them in the proper context, and that includes the desire to acquire knowledge. He admonished parents and guardians, to pay special attention to their wards, as to how they dress, since the manner of dressing by the youth, of late, was unacceptable.

In his prayers he emphasised that Allah grant the nation, and communities peace and tranquillity, general wellbeing, and remove from the nation all calamities, make the best people the leaders, and not to make the evil ones leaders of the nation.

President John Agyekum Kufuor, on his part, urged Ghanaians to hold together, and collectively defend the political stability, and economic progress made by the nation within the last eight years.

So much, he said, was going for the country, and that the people owed it a duty to themselves, and to the future generation, to ensure that the clock of progress was not turned backwards.

He gave an upbeat assessment of the performance of the government, stating that the economy was resilient, with all indicators pointing to stability and growth. v There was also the refreshing news about the discovery of more oilfields, announcing that, just only the day before, he was informed by the management of COMOS Energy, the first company to strike oil in the country, that they had made additional huge discoveries.

The future could therefore only be brighter, and what the people needed to do now, was to bide their time, and resolve to worker harder to sustain the growth.

The Eid-ul-Fitri Festival is held by Muslims, across the world, to mark the end of the Ramadan, and in Ghana this was President Kufuor's last address at such celebration, as he would be ending his term of office on Januray 7, next year.

Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama, and the ruling New Patriotic Party's (NPP) presidential running-mate, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, joined the celebration. He used the occasion to encourage all Ghanaians to show interest in the electoral process, in order to make the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections, free and fair, and which outcome would be acceptable to all.

“Nobody should stand by to allow anybody to hijack the elections. The vote must be exercised without fear.”

He re-assured the nation that the government, on its part, would never do anything to undermine the polls.

President Kufuor appealed to Muslim parents, to give both their male and female children a good chance to life, through formal education.

He said fortunately, in the country there were lot of female role models to inspire girl-child education, citing the nation's first Chief Justice, women ministers, pilots, and those in other professions.