Listen To Story
Flagbearer of the NDC and former president of the republic of Ghana, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama has revealed that the NDC party is always committed to the welfare of Muslims in the country.
The former president said this over the weekend at the 27th Annual Quranic Ceremony by the Bambawiya Islamic Institute at Shishegu in the Sagnarigu Constituency.
Speaking as the special guest of honor for the occasion, the former president noted that, it was the PNDC government under the leadership of former president Rawlings that passed a decree and gave Muslims two holidays for the celebration of both Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha festivals.
“Before president Rawlings and the PNDC government came, anytime we celebrated Eid-ul-Fitr or Eid-ul-Adha there was no public holiday, we had to go to work on that day. And so for those who were professionals’ teachers, nurses, public servants or even working in the private sector, bankers, you had to go in the morning to go and pray your prayers and then go back to work and work the whole day, there was no holiday for celebration. President Rawlings saw this as an unfair and therefore pass the decree that allowed the Muslim community not one holiday but two holidays to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha. And that is why we have those holidays today”. The former president said.
He added that, the NDC under leadership of former president John Evans Attah Mills established the Hajj Village in Accra to accommodate pilgrims before they were airlifted to the Holy land of Mecca as the pilgrims who were embarking on that holy journey were not previously properly accommodated.
“When I was vice-president, president Mills put me in charge of overseeing Muslim Affairs and one of the things I noticed was that anytime our parents and brothers and sisters were going for the Hajj they have to go to Accra and sleep at the Elwak stadium and often they will be beaten by mosquitoes and by the time they get to Mecca most of them come down with malaria and they are unable to perform the Hajj because they use to sleep in the open in the Elwak”.
“And so I met with the Hajj committee, and we decided to begin the idea of the Hajj village where we put tents, nice accommodation with toilets and places of convenience for all those going for the Hajj so that they are not exposed to harm before they go for the Hajj. And so the idea of the Hajj village began under president Mills when I was overseeing Islamic affairs as the Vice-president”. He added.
His Excellency John Dramani Mahama also spoke about the efforts the last NDC administration under his leadership made to work on the expansion of the Tamale Airport to an International status to ensure that pilgrims were flown from Tamale to Mecca for the first time.
The former president used the occasion to preach religious tolerance and called on the students of the Bambawiya Islamic Institute to be ambassadors of religious tolerance.
The leader of the Bambawiya Islamic Institute, Sheikh Lukman Bamba on behalf of the institute presented a citation to the former president for his numerous supports to the Bambawiya Islamic Institute and the Muslim Community in the country.
The former president was accompanied to the ceremony by some senior members of the NDC including former Deputy Chief of Staff, Hon. Julius Debrah, the former Minority Leader, Hon. Haruna Iddrisu former Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Hon. Inusah Fuseini, MP for Tamale Central, Hon. Ibrahim Mutala, MP for Kumbungu, Hon. Hamza Adam and as well as Parliamentary Candidate for Sagnarigu Constituency, Hon. Attah Issah.
Others were the Northern Regional executives of the NDC and some executives from some adjourning constituencies in the Northern region.
(Suhiyini Yakubu Abdul Mumin, coordinator, Sagnarigu Constituency)