Ghana: Mahama Praises Christians and Muslims

President-Mahama1President John Dramani Mahama, on Sunday, called on Ghanaians to count themselves lucky for the continuous inter and intra religious tolerance the country has enjoyed over the years.

He said: “Elsewhere in the world, there have been numerous religious conflicts, between Muslims and Christians, and even sometimes, intra-religious conflicts, but due to your intercessory prayers, we have avoided that in this country.”

President Mahama said this when he addressed the closing ceremony of the One Million Bible Project, organised by the Bible Society of Ghana, where he presented the one millionth Bible to Miss Sandra Frimpomaa Quarshie, a former JHS student of Forces JHS, Burma Camp.

The One Million Bible Project was initiated by the management of the Bible Society of Ghana, with support from the National Council of the society, under the chairmanship of Dr. Joyce R. Aryee, to distribute one million Bibles to Junior High School pupils in Ghana.

Apart from using the project to commemorate Ghana’s Golden Independence anniversary, the project was also to stimulate and instill religious morals in the pupils to grow up to become useful citizens that would continue with the development agenda of the country.

President Mahama expressed confidence that Ghana would continue to grow and develop because of religious tolerance and acceptance of the word.

He said the distribution of Bibles was synonymous to distributing life and prosperity, and pledged to pay for the printing and distribution of one thousand (1,000) Bibles to members of the Ghana Armed Forces.

The President appealed to religious leaders to be resilient in the performance of their duties, irrespective of the challenges they meet in disseminating the word of God.

Reverend Erasmus Odonkor, General Secretary of the Bible Society of Ghana, said the distribution of the Bibles was a bold contribution towards the strengthening of the moral foundation of Ghana, to guarantee a future that is founded on the virtues of truth, Godliness and brotherliness.

“It is a bold contribution towards the strengthening of the moral foundation of our nation, which upholds peace, brotherliness, hard work, entrepreneurship and prosperity for Ghana,” he added.

He gave the assurance that the Bible Society of Ghana would continue to translate the Bible into many languages as possible, to give everybody the opportunity to read the word of God in his or her own mother tongue.

Dr. Joyce Aryee commended the entire management and council for their initiative in coming out with the idea to distribute free Bibles to school children.

“Let us reveal Jesus to other people, and thank Very Reverend Kofi Owusu, Former General Secretary of the Bible Society of Ghana, for allowing God to use him as the instrument of evangelism to get other Bible believers board,” she added.

Miss Sandra Frimpomaa Quartey, the recipient of the one millionth Bible, thanked the Bible Society of Ghana for the opportunity, saying, “I believe this will help us to develop our spiritual lives in Ghana and beyond.”

In another development, President John Dramani Mahama has urged Ghanaians to respect chiefs and traditional leaders for their crucial role as custodians of lands and contribution to overall national progress and development.

He said chiefs were noted to be people who carried their responsibilities out of experience and with dignity and respect to promote community and societal development. “Our communities should be presided and controlled by chiefs, and we must experience that in all parts of our country,” President Mahama said when he addressed chiefs, opinion leaders and other traditional rulers at the final funeral rites of the late Alhaji Mahama Salifu on Sunday in Accra.

The late Alhaji Salifu, who was the Greater Accra Chief of the Gonja Community and President of the Council of Muslim Chiefs, died on April 28, 2013 in Accra.

President Mahama said elsewhere in the country and the world, there had been numerous chieftaincy conflicts, and even sometimes, intra-religious conflicts, but chiefs and religious leaders in Ghana had demonstrated greater tolerance and understanding.

He expressed confidence that Ghana would continue to grow and develop because of the chieftaincy and religious tolerance. A tribute read by Chief Issahak Suleiman, Chief of the Moshe Community in Accra, said the late Ahaji Salifu’s services “were not limited to Gonja’s alone, but extended his help and support to all ethnic groups in Accra, particularly those from the three northern regions.

“Chief Salifu Mahama was [a] very patient and courteous person; an advocate of peace, harmony and unity,” the tribute said.

Chief Suleiman said the late Alhaji Salifu was among Muslim chiefs who helped to bring peace between the northern chiefs in Accra, and that his dedication, selflessness, modesty and empathy, care and consideration, won him the respect of many important people in society.

The Moshie Community Chief urged the present generation of Muslim chiefs to continue to pray for the founding fathers of the Muslim Chiefs Council, who struggled to bring all the ethnic groups together to pursue a common agenda.

He said the Council of Zongo Chiefs had assured all ethnic groups that the vision and mission of the founding fathers would not be allowed to die.

Prayers were said for President Mahama and the nation.

The funeral brought together members of the entire political divide, and the Gonja community sub chiefs from Ashaiman, Tema and other communities in the Greater Accra Region. – GNA

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