President John Evans Atta Mills yesterday met a cross-section of Muslims and expressed worry at what he described as the rising incidence of insults in the Ghanaian society, a trend which he noted is not in the interest of the country.
He told his guests, who numbered about 60 and led by the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Nuhu Osman Sharubutu, at the Peduase Lodge, that the spree of insults which had become a feature of politics in today’s Ghana was a bad legacy being bequeathed to the younger generation of Ghanaians, adding that posterity would not forgive us.
The citizenry should fight issues which would bring development to the country, he said, adding that as a human being, he had his shortcomings but if these cropped up, “It does not mean the whole country is bad.”
President Mills also expressed worry at the state of polarization in the country. He noted that politics was not about hatred as being witnessed in the country, asking for a reversal of the current trend.
His guests expressed gratitude to him for the honour done them, as they engaged with him on issues bordering on moralities in the society such as prostitution, get-rich-quick craze, indecent language among others.
Speaking through Sheikh Armiyawo Shaibu, a renowned Islamic scholar and a religious television personality, the National Chief Imam noted that unethical activities were eating deep into the country’s moral fabric, pointing at social aberrations such as alcoholism, get-rich-quick attitude and prostitution, over which the brakes must be pulled.
The Chief Imam assured the President that he was willing to support him in any effort towards addressing the social challenges.
The Muslim delegation, which included the various facets of the Islamic community such as the Shias, Ahlunsuna, Ahmadists and groups such as COMOG and others, put forth a number of requests for the consideration of the President. The delegation tasked the President to organize a national re-orientation programme, with the religious bodies playing a central role.
It asked for collaborative approach towards dealing with national issues far beyond individuals, adding that the National Media Commission (NMC) should be empowered to ensure discipline in media presentation.
The commission, the delegation also demanded, should undertake programmes towards sensitizing the citizenry on their rights. On the peculiar needs of the Islamic communities, the delegation requested that the President institutes a special scholarship scheme for needy but brilliant Muslims to pursue education as a way of arresting waywardness.
It also touched on the issue of girl-child education, pleading with the President to intervene with the appropriate support, including assistance for independent Islamic bodies, as a way of supporting family centres in these communities. Daily Guide reliably learnt that the Muslim delegation had already readied themselves for a meeting with the President for a parley when his invitation came.
An insider confided in DAILY GUIDE that “we had wanted to get yesterday’s meeting postponed but in deference to the President, we just had to honour it, given also that he had postponed a Cabinet meeting for the engagement.” President Mills had earlier met with the Christian Council of Ghana and discussed ethical and moral challenges besetting the country with them.