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General News of Monday, 9 September 2013

Source: GNA

State Institutions must be neutral - Chief Imam

The National Chief Imam, Sheikh Dr. Osmanu Nuhu Sharabutu, has re-echoed the need for the state institutions to remain neutral in the discharge of their constitutional duties.

He said it was imperative that institutions such as the Electoral Commission (EC), the judiciary and security agencies resolve to be independent and non-partisan in their work.

According to him, this will help create a disciplined and harmonious society to deepen the rule of law, democracy and effective governance for the well-being of the citizenry.

These were contained in a speech read on his behalf at a day’s sensitization workshop on peace and stability at the Kumasi Central Mosque at the weekend.

The event formed part of a program initiated by the Office of the National Chief Imam (ONCI) dubbed “Election Adjudication Intervention”, which seeks to educate Ghanaians, particularly Muslim communities, on their roles in sustaining peace, following the recent verdict by the Supreme Court on the 2012 presidential election petition.

STAR-Ghana and some development partners are providing support for the program, targeting Muslim students, youth groups, political parties, identifiable women's groups, amongst others.

Sheikh Sharabutu observed that the nation had no other choice than to support an open and transparent electoral system that guarantees the rights of all voters.

He noted that the state should ensure the active participation of the poor and needy, Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), women and the youth in the electoral system and democratic processes.

“Let us recognize that Ghana’s democracy cannot function effectively unless our laws are respected”, he noted, adding that it behooved the citizenry to play a watchdog role in “detecting and preempting early signs of social strife, conflict or violence in our local communities.”

The National Chief Imam also cautioned against all manner of behaviours which could trigger social or political unrest.

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