Religion of Friday, 22 March 2013
Source: Daily Graphic
The President, Mr John Dramani Mahama, has urged Muslims and Christians to continue to coexist peacefully, since the development of the country hinges on peace.
While commending Christians and Muslims for living in peace with each other in Ghana, he stressed the need for adherents of the two main religions not to take their peaceful coexistence for granted but strive to maintain it.
President Mahama made the call yesterday at a meeting with Muslim Imams and chiefs at the Flagstaff House, Kanda in Accra.
The meeting, which was attended by the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu; the Imam of the Ahlussunna Wal Jama'a, Sheikh Umar Ibrahim Imam, and representatives of the Tijjaniyya and Shia Muslim sects, discussed the national prayer and thanksgiving service.
Friday, April 5, 2013, has been fixed for Muslim prayers, while Christian prayers have been scheduled for Sunday, April 7, 2013.
President Mahama noted that in other parts of the world, rifts existed between Muslims and Christians, saying that was not the case in Ghana.
He said it was not by chance that Ghana was enjoying peace and that it was due to intercessory prayers by religious groups.
"We are a nation of faith that believes in God and prays to Him for peace and security," the President said.
He thanked Muslims and other religious groups for their continuous prayer for the nation and asked them to continue with the prayers.
President Mahama said the national day for thanksgiving and prayer was to thank God for His mercies on Ghana.
He said although there was a committee working on the event, he wanted Muslim leaders to discuss how to go about the organisation.
The National Chief Imam prayed for continuous peace and security in the nation and for God's protection for President Mahama and his team.
Also at the Flagstaff House to meet the President was a delegation from the Ghana Catholic Bishops' Conference (GCBC).
The President of the GCBC, Most Rev Joseph Osei-Bonsu also called on teachers to consider the plight of students and call off their strike.
"We wish to appeal to all teachers to consider the plight of our beloved children and their future, as well as the future of our country, and return to the classroom as soon as possible," the Most Rev Osei-Bonsu, implored.
He made the appeal to the teachers yesterday during a courtesy call on President John Dramani Mahama at the Flagstaff House, Kanda.
The Most Rev Osei-Bonsu asked President Mahama to use his good offices to help resolve the impasse with the teachers.
Members of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) and the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) have, since Monday, been on strike to seek a resolution of their grievances, such as collective bargaining agreement for teaching employees of the Ghana Education Service (GES), a freeze on annual increments for the staff of the GES since 2010, the non-payment of vehicle maintenance allowance from 2012 to date to GES staff who qualify and delays in resolving outstanding issues related to promotions.
The Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) joined the strike on Wednesday.
Speaking generally on education before the meeting went into a closed-door session, the Most Rev Osei-Bonsu called for stronger partnership between the government and the Catholic Church on education.
He asked the President to facilitate the signing of a partnership agreement on education between the Ministry of Education and the Catholic Church.
He said the partnership agreement, which had existed over the years, had been revised but had not been accepted or rejected.
On the ongoing energy and water challenges, the Most Rev Osei-Bonsu asked the President to do all that he could "to speedily bring these challenges to an end to give some relief and comfort to Ghanaians in the shortest possible time".
He called for a long-term national development plan that would generally be acceptable to all Ghanaians.
Responding, President Mahama stressed the need for teachers to call off their strike, while the FWSC continued negotiations with their leaders.
On the partnership, he tasked the Minister of Education to liaise with all the stakeholders to facilitate the signing of the partnership agreement with the GCBC.
President Mahama congratulated the Catholic Church on successfully electing a Pope and said politicians must learn from the Catholic Church.
The President said Ghana wanted to establish a mission at the Vatican and a request letter sent to the Vatican in that regard was awaiting response.
He commended the GCBC for always being open and frank in it discussions of issues.