The Vice President, Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has strongly cautioned Zongo youth to resist calls by political leaders to lead and engage various acts of political violence at the peril of their lives.
Speaking at the commemoration of the birth of Prophet Muhammad in Aboabo, Kumasi, over the weekend, the Vice President expressed serious concern over creeping violence in political activities in the country, adding that he was deeply saddened that youth from the Zongo Communities were normally identified as ringleaders for political violence and other lawless acts.
“There is an increasing, disturbing development of our Zongo youth engaging in unacceptable conducts that bring unbearable disgrace to our communities,” Dr Bawumia told the congregation.
“On several occasions, I have watched in pain and anguish police parades of criminals who bear names which clearly show their identities as from our Zongo Communities. Beside criminal conducts such as arm-robbery, accusing fingers are often pointed at Zongo youth for being ring leaders in acts of vandalism in various forms, including the creeping menace of political vigilantism.” the Vice President added.
“These developments, where a significant number of Zongo youth are mentioned whenever such crimes and brutish attacks occur, sincerely disturb me. It is a dent on our otherwise noble communities and we should all come together and fight this menace in a concerted effort.”
The Vice President cautioned the youth to turn down politicians who attempt to woo and recruit them to perpetuate political violence and other crimes.
“They come to you and tell you to go and perpetuate violence and other acts while their own children are in school, doing good jobs or abroad working to better their lives. When these politicians come to you, ask them why are they not using their own children to do what they’re asking you to do?,” Dr Bawumia said to thunderous cheers of endorsement from the crowd.
“The youth of our country, particularly my brothers from the Zongo Communities, should not, under any circumstance, avail themselves of use for any illegal activity, which also pose great risks to their valuable and cherished lives,” the Vice President cautioned further.
“I want to urge the youth who are involved in the operations of the various political parties to exhibit great sense of tolerance, whether it is intra-party, or inter-party contest. For the Zongo and Muslim youth, it is even more important, and an obligation to be tolerant and peaceful in accordance with the teachings of our beloved Prophet Muhammad.”
The Vice President noted that Allah has blessed the Zongo youth with multiple positive attributes and talents such as strength, courage, knowledge, sports skill, entrepreneurship, vocational skill, etc. and encouraged to put their God-given talents into good use for their own benefits, as well as for the benefit of their respective families, communities and the nation.
He further urged Zongo youth with vocational and technical skill, as well as entrepreneurial ideas to take advantage of the Zongo Development Fund through the Ministry of Inner-Cities and Zongo Development Fund for assistance to develop themselves and their enterprises.
The commemoration of the birth of Prophet Muhammad in Aboabo was the 51st time and it was attended by several high profile Islamic clerics in the country including the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu.