President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has admonished Muslim youth across the country to be wary of irresponsible politicians who may want to use them to perpetrate acts of violence in the run-up to the 2020 elections.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Tijanniya Muslim Council of Ghana at Trade Fair Centre, President Akufo-Addo urged Muslim youth to take the guidance of their Shaykhs seriously, and also take advantage of the possibilities available under his government's programmes to develop their talents, and become responsible citizens.
“Muslim youth cannot continue to be the ones who are used for violent purposes. I want to make this appeal to you: in 2020, do not allow yourselves to be used by irresponsible politicians to engage in acts of destabilisation and violence”, he said.
Expressing his appreciation to Sheikh Khalifa Abul faidi Ahmed Maikano, leader of the Tijanniya Muslim faith, for the invitation, President Akufo-Addo applauded the decision taken to establish the Tijanniya Muslim Council to guide and supervise the activities of the adherents of the Tijanniya Muslim faith.
Citing the implementation of policies such as the free Senior High School Policy and the establishment and operation of the Zongo Development Fund, the President explained that all efforts at development will come to nought if Ghanaians do not live in harmony with people of other faiths.
“A considerable part of the peace and stability Ghana enjoys is due to the long-standing relationship of peaceful co-existence, founded on religious tolerance, between Christians and Muslims in our country. We must do everything to ensure that this situation continues. It is one of the most positive, and most acclaimed, hallmarks of our nation. And, I want to commend members of the Tijanniya faith for their great contribution to this development,” he added.
According to President Akufo-Addo, it is a sad commentary on the religion of peace that, today, Islam is credited with being responsible for all the acts of radicalism, extremism, violence and destabilisation taking place around the world by ISIL, Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram.
“While we may meet in places like this, and say that what they profess is not true Islam, the reality is that we have allowed the extremists to hijack the religion of peace; we have allowed them to pervert its values; we have allowed them to define it,” he said.
He, thus, urged all peace-loving Muslims to speak up, adding that “let our youth shun violence. Let our youth seek the path of knowledge, for it is the path of illumination. Let us concern ourselves with building a better future for ourselves here on earth, and the goodies of the hereafter will follow.”
Whilst wishing the Tijaniyya Muslim Council the best in its efforts at developing the Muslim Ummah in Ghana, he assured that his Government “is a willing partner with you in that endeavour.”
President Akufo-Addo reiterated that “the Minister for Inner City and Zongo Development will work with you to ensure that you get all the support to make the school project a reality.”