Accra, Nov.3, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Thursday used the annual Eid-Ul-Fitr to stress the unity of mankind and the need for tolerance and understanding among the comity of nations.
"The whole world is searching for the way forward in what is now known as the global village," he said, and called on Muslims and adherents of other religions to co-exist peacefully despite the differences in creed, culture and tradition.
Eid-Ul-Fitr is celebrated after 30 days mandatory fasting - Ramadan one of the five pillars of Islam.
Flanked by Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama and aids at the Independence Square in Accra, where hundreds of Muslims had gathered to pray, President Kufuor sermonised: "We are the children of the only one God despite our cultural differences", attracting cheers. He asked them to strive to understand one another and denounce violence, adding: "We must see the good things about each other and deal with the bad things that divide us."
President Kufuor asked Muslims to pray without ceasing for Allah's intervention to avoid the natural disasters that had plagued parts of the world.
He said the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) would not discriminate in the implementation of its development agenda, explaining that the committee he had established to oversee the proper planning of the nation's capital, Accra would be replicated in other regions to make Ghana a showpiece of Africa.
Visiting Lord David Triesman, British Minister, In charge of Visa, Consular and Africa, said the occasion portrayed the multi-cultural nature of the world and the need for mankind to encourage mutual ideas and obligations towards one another.
Alhaji Gado Mohammed, a Muslim Opinion Leader, in a welcoming called on the Muslim community to check the incidence of drug abuse and crime, which were the by-products of indiscipline. Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharabutu, National Chief Imam, who had earlier led the open prayer session asked Muslims in a sermon translated into English, Hausa and Ga to imbibe the virtues they acquired during the Ramadan.
"Those who are righteous and constantly repentant, those who avoid falsehood, and those who are constantly mindful of Allah's commandments unto such people Allah would bestow peace, tranquillity and everlasting happiness," he said.
Shortly after the Chief Imam had finished the special prayers, the mortal remains of Alhaji Hussein Mada, President of NASFAT, a Muslim group in Ghana, who died after the fasting, was carried to the dais to receive special blessings from Sheikh Sharabutu, to ensure his safe passage to heaven.
After the prayers President Kufuor and Vice President Mahama, were mobbed by the enthusiastic crowd, as they went round to interact with the worshippers.
Ministers of State, members of the Diplomatic Corps and Sunni Muslim Leaders attended the ceremony.