President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has advised Muslim youth in the country not to allow themselves to be used by irresponsible politicians to engage in violence, as the country heads into another election year.
“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.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Tijanniya Muslim Council of Ghana in Accra yesterday, President Akufo-Addo urged the youth to take the advice and guidance of their Shaykhs seriously, and take advantage of the opportunities available in the government’s programmes to develop the youth in the country.
Expressing his appreciation to Sheikh Khalifa Abul faidi Ahmed Maikano, leader of the Tijanniya Muslim faith, for the invitation, President Akufo-Addo commended them for the decision to establish the Tijanniya Muslim Council, to guide and supervise activities of the adherents of the Tijanniya Muslim faith.
He said policies such as the Free Senior High School policy and the establishment and operation of the Zongo Development Fund would be meaningless if Ghanaians did not live in harmony and tolerance.
“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,” the President said.
According to President Akufo-Addo it was sad commentary on the religion of peace that, today, Islam was 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.
“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,” he said
Whilst wishing the Tijaniyya Muslim Council the best in its efforts at developing the Muslim Ummah in Ghana, the President 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”.