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28.08.2005 Regional News

Veep observes centenary celebration of Wangara Dynasty

GNA

Kumasi, Aug. 28, GNA - Vice-President Alhaji Aliu Mahama, at the weekend asked Muslims to choose the path of peaceful co-existence, stressing that, "Islam and peace are derived from the same root and are considered synonymous."

"The daily salutations amongst Muslims are expressions of peace. This is how fundamental and dominant the theme of peace in Islam is." Alhaji Mahama was addressing the Centenary Celebration of the Wangara Chiefdom in Kumasi and 22 years of the enskinment of the incumbent chief, Alhaji Ahmed Ibrahim.

It was on the theme, "Promotion of the Muslim Girl Child's Education." He said peace meant tolerance and therefore, deplored the occasional upsurge of intra-Muslim sect conflict, chieftaincy disputes and political intolerance within Muslim communities.

"I am informed that the Ashanti Regional Security Council has several cases of chieftaincy succession disputes, which creates tension and instability within Muslim communities.

"If we view life in the Islamic perspective, we cannot fail to build a lasting peace and make our Zongo communities a better place to live," Alhaji Mahama said.

Touching on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), he said the scheme was the way of providing quality health care delivery, especially to the poor.

Alhaji Mahama called for an expanded public education on the NHIS to encourage people to register and gain from it.

He commended the Wangara community for living in harmony with other ethnic groups in Kumasi and asked them to sacrifice and work harder for national growth and productivity, Alhaji Mahama asked leaders of the Zongo community to be dynamic and imaginative in mobilizing people in support of community initiated projects to help uplift their living standards.

The Wangara Chief, Alhaji Ibrahim, who is also the president of the Council of Zongo Chiefs, who gave a brief history of the situation, said the maiden local chief, Alaric Abdullai Makeri, left Salaga in 1890 and opted to stay in Kumasi for economic reasons. "He sacrificed his time energy and resources for his people and community by giving them employment. Arabic education and helping them in agriculture," he said.

Alhaji Ibrahim said by his selfless attitude, the elders of his time duly accorded him recognition and respect.

He noted that only about 15 per cent of Muslim women could read and write in the country and said there was the need to reverse it the trend.

The National Chief Imam, Sheikh Nuhu Sharubutu, called for peace and stability amongst Muslims in order to avoid the turbulent situations in other countries.

Kpembewura Alhaji Haruna Kibasi II, the Divisional Chief of Kbembe in the Northern Region, who chaired the function, said historically, Wangaras had influenced the culture and history of Gonjas, explaining that, they wrote the maiden history of the Gonjas.

Mr Jerry Laniaer, Charges D'Affairs of the US Embassy said his country commits 12 million dollars a year to assist over 10000 Muslims, who are disadvantaged to contribute to the economic development of Ghana. The government donated ten million cedis cash towards the centenary celebrations.

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