INNER CITIES AND ZONGO MINISTRY; THE ROLE OF ZONGO CHIEFS AND IMAMS.
The establishment of the Ministry of Inner Cities and Zongo Development in fulfilment of the campaign pledge of the New Patriotic Party, in the run up to the last presidential polls, seems to have gone down well with the people especially the Zongo dwellers. the move has generated a lot of excitement in and outside Ghana especially among Chiefs and Imams led by the National Chief Imam Sheikh Usman Nuhu Sharubutu who has been the center of spiritual and social development of Muslims in the Zongos. it has been the case that many needy people especially the youth in the Zongos do call on him and the regional imams for support in times of difficulties. However, on getting to know that the right minister in the person of Hon. Alhaji Abubakar Sidik Boniface has been chosen to head the ministry, the Chief imam and Muslim chiefs across Ghana expressed delight over the choice of the right person. Alhaji khuzaimah Osman the Personal Assistant of the National who has been involved in the affairs of the new ministry on behalf of Muslims has observed that the new minister Hon Boniface has hit the ground running by entering into discussions with stakeholders that include the zongo chiefs and intellectuals, for their views towards preparing an action plan for rapid development of the areas concerned.
According to Alhaji Khuzaimah there is the need for the ministry to help in the establishment of a Consultative Assembly or Council of Zongo Communities with branches in the regions and districts to work directly with the new ministry. He gave the breakdown of the proposed councils as follows;
National council of zongo chiefs
Council of Ulemas and imams
Council of Muslim youths
Council of Muslim or zongo NGOS
Council of Muslim or zongo entrepreneurs
A body of Muslim or intellectuals
The first two councils are already in place pending the formation of the rest says Alhaji Khuzaimah
A MEETING ON YOUTH
To cap it all Alhaji Khuzaimah who is scheduled to meet with new minister has scheduled a meeting of experts to discuss an agenda for youth development in the Zongos. The meeting is scheduled to be held at the residence of the National Chief Imam at Fadama in the morning of Saturday February 18. It is important for all those concerned to attend this meeting to bring out views on the needs of Zongos in childhood training and up-bringing at home and schools and the needs of our youth in education, vocational training and on their general comportment and wellbeing. This is a good move meant to help the youth in the Zongos out to be able to weave through life with little difficulties. Currently with the free SHS being rolled out, the time has come for the new ministry to roll out through the chiefs and Muslim NGOs, a program to help children from poor families and orphans to gain places in primary schools and vocational training. This will save the situation in which a large number of the you are seen loitering about or engaged in unproductive activities.
NGOS IN ZONGOS
One area that needs to be considered is the use of the services of NGOs in the Zongos to help in the development projects such as schools, orphanages and the like being pursued by them already. Among these are the Islamic Council for Development and Humanitarian Services, Al Huda, Ghana Muslim Mission and many more. Apart from these there are Muslim entrepreneurs who can be of help to the ministry by embarking on development projects in the Zongos.
While working on the formation of bodies to work with the new ministry we must not lose sight on the need of on the inner cities. While working with zongo chiefs the ministry would have to collaborate with chiefs who have responsibility over areas like Chorkor, parts of James Town and some ghettoes throughout Ghana.
BY: ALHAJI ALHASAN ABDULAI
eanfoworld for sustainable development
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