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President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged Ghanaians to protect and preserve the peaceful coexistence between Muslims and Christians.
They should also not listen to anybody who speaks the language of division and exclusion.
The President said it was the sense of oneness that had made the country a beacon of peace and stability.
“We live in a country where a Muslim minority can live peacefully and in harmony with the Christian majority.
We live in a country where all the communities of Ghana can coexist and be together and that is the legacy we must protect and preserve,” President Akufo-Addo stated yesterday.
“We are all part and parcel of the Ghanaian framework and we must all work hard to maintain that,” President Akufo-Addo stated at a durbar at Nima to mark the 20th Anniversary of the installation of the Chief of Nima, Nii Futa.
Nii Futa has served as the Chief of Nima, a heavily populated suburb of Accra, since 2003.
In honour of his two decades of leadership, Zango chiefs from across the Greater Accra Region and other parts of the country were present at the grand anniversary durbar in style.
Also present were some government officials and other political figures, including the Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Stephen Asamoah Boateng.
There was traditional drumming and dancing to showcase the diversity and tourism potential of the community.
President Akufo-Addo also made a personal donation of GH¢50,000 to support the anniversary.
President Akufo-Addo described Nii Futa as an important political colleague in the struggle to establish democracy in the country.
In that regard, he said, Nima was very lucky to have such an enlightened man as its leader and chief.
The President said matters of poverty and exclusion in the Zango communities were of great concern to him and his government.
He said it was for that reason that his government introduced the Free Senior High School (Free SHS) policy, the Zongo Development Fund and other initiatives in industry and agriculture intended to address the challenges and ensure togetherness.
“My father moved us to Nima when I was 12 years old and there’s no part of this area or any street that I don’t know.
I know this area like the back of my palm.
I enjoyed some of my happiest days in my youth here so, it’s important that I should be here because I’m one of you,” the President stated.
In response, Nii Futa said with a deep sense of humility and gratitude, he was thrilled by the trust and support he had received over the years from the people of Nima and beyond.
He said when he first took on the role as chief of Nima, he made a solemn promise to serve and lead the community to the best of his ability.
Although the community had encountered challenges over the years, including social, cultural, economic, Nii Futa said through those moments they had remained united and unwavering in their commitment to progress and stability.
“I am deeply grateful to everyone of you for your unalloyed support and for being the driving forces behind our successes.
If our community has thrived and flourished today, it is because of your dedication, passion, and resilience,” Nii Futa stated.
He, however, expressed regret about what he described as a deliberate exclusion and lack of adequate recognition and representation of people from the Zango at higher levels of government.
For instance, Nii Futa said, he could not point to one true Zango person in the cabinets of all governments of the Fourth Republic and also not of the second and third republics.
He indicated that the Zango community constituted a very significant part of the Ghanaian society, both in numbers and quality of human resource.
“Very often, considerations are made for regional and gender balances, but not for Zango communities whose only crime is that they spread throughout the country,” he stated.
“The Zangos may be minorities in many of the regions, but cumulatively, only a few regions in Ghana can come close in terms of numbers but what should have been an advantage has rather turned out to be a disadvantage,” Nii Futa added.
Governments could not take the blame entirely as the communities were also responsible for that reality.
“I do not have the slightest of doubt, that we of the Zango love one another and wish one another well.
We have, however, failed over the years to gather the courage to translate this love into building structures that can offer leadership capable of negotiating with governments and other institutions to ensure adequate participation of our people in the fullness of national life,” Nii Futa observed.
It was only through such collaborative efforts and strong leadership that Zango communities could realise their full potential, he posited.
Nii Futa urged the Nima community to take advantage of the celebration to bring together all stakeholders, including chiefs, the youth and professionals, to start discussions to achieve the desired objectives.
SOURCE: GRAPHIC ONLINE