Upper West Regional Minister Dr Hafiz Bin Salih says Ghanaians must be proud of the high level of religious tolerance observed in the country.
He, therefore, urged Muslims to pick lessons from the Eid celebration and shun all indiscipline acts to give Islam the opportunity to play a complete role in the promotion of national unity.
Dr Bin Salih who stated this during the Eid’ul Adha congregational prayers in Wa, noted that Islam instilled on its followers a sense of sacrifice that puts others and the nation first and this must be practicalised.
“Religion and for that matter, Islam has a role to play in the promotion of national unity, peaceful coexistence and as a conduit for promoting tolerance and self-restraint for the development of their society”, he said.
He said Eid was, therefore, an occasion for relationship building and hoped that all Muslims would pick up lessons from the celebration especially the deed of reaching out to the less privileged in society.
On governance, Dr Bin Salih noted that government had embarked on massive pro-poor policy interventions aimed at promoting agricultural productivity for food security and employment opportunities for majority of the people.
He said some of these interventions included; the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJs) programme, Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD), Rearing for Food and Jobs, and the One-Village-One-Dam project.
The rest are; the National Entrepreneurship and Innovative Programme (NEIP), Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme and Ghana Productive Society Network.
The Regional Minister urged the youth to take advantage of the policies to better their lot.
Dr Bin Salih pointed out that whereas the region was performing creditably well in the area of potable water delivery, the same could not be said about sanitation delivery.
“The coverage for sanitation is woefully below 15 per cent”, he disclosed and noted that it was sad to note that in this day and age people still attended nature’s call in the open.
He said it was even sadder that in terms of sanitation, Wa Municipal placed last on the District League Table (DLT) among the 11 Municipal and District Assemblies in the region.
Dr Bin Salih, therefore, appealed to the chiefs and people to support the Municipal Assembly by constructing household latrines to end open defecation and contribute to achieving an Open Defecation Free (ODF) community.
He said Nandom District set the pace in the region and the country at large for being the first to achieve ODF status, adding that this showed that it was possible for all districts to achieve same.
By Mutala Yakubu