The Zongo Movement for Development, a development oriented group for Zongo communities, has stressed its firm belief in the partnership of President Akufo-Addo and Vice President Bawumia for December’s Presidential elections.
In a press statement issued Tuesday, the group said after a careful study of the New Patriotic Party’s 2016 campaign promise for the people of Zongos, the fulfillment of the promise, as well as the social dynamics of the Nana-Bawumia partnership, it has come to the informed and firm belief that their ticket represents a hope for sustainable development in Zongos and the country as a whole.
“As a zongo development advocacy group, we welcome the confirmation of the Nana Addo-Bawumia ticket for re-election because we believe, very strongly, that their continuous partnership represents sustainable development for Zongos and the nation as a whole,” the statement signed by the group’s national president, Alhaji Habib Issah Cisey said.
The group said in the build up to the 2016 elections, it looked forward to policies by the various political parties for sustainable development in the Zongos, but it was only Nana Akufo-Addo and Dr. Bawumia, who came out with such policies. They added that after three and half years in office, they have demonstrated sincerity by fulfilling the promise of initiating sustainable development in Zongo communities.
“Prior to the 2012 and 2016 Presidential Elections, we looked forward to policies by the various political parties, which would spell out strategies and policies for sustainable development in our highly deprived Zongo communities,” said ZOMOD.
“While other political parties had no vision and policies for Zongo Communities, it was Nana Akufo-Addo and Dr. Bawumia who announced their intentions to establish the Zongo Development Fund to speed up human and infrastructure development in Zongo communities across the country.
“Five years on, having metamorphosed into a more development oriented movement (ZOMOD) and having followed closely the actualisation of this promise by President Akufo-Addo and Vice President Bawumia through the establishment of the Inner Cities and Zongo Ministries, as well as the Zongo Development Fund, we are proud and confident enough to have high hope in the leadership of President Akufo-Addo and Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia for sustainable development in Zongo communities and the nation as a whole.”
“A non-rhetorical vision is one which is backed by law such as the ZDF. And the sincerity of President Akufo-Addo and Vice President Bawumia to ensure the bridging of development gap between the Zongos and other parts of the country, is clearly evident by the enactment of an act to establish the Zongo Development Fund. This is a clear statement of sincere intent and a well-thought out move to ensure sustainable development.”
Three years of Zongo Development
The group said after three years of establishing a Ministry for Zongo and Inner Cities Development as well as the Zongo Development Fund (ZDF), there is evidence of both infrastructure and human resource development through educational scholarships in various Zongos in the country.
“Apart from numerous visible infrastructure development such as building and renovation of classrooms, clinics, roads, drainage systems, mosques, roads, bridges as well as provision of boreholes, libraries, ICT centres, modern football fields, etc., the ZDF, in the past three years, has undertaken the biggest human resource development in Zongos and inner cities in the history of the 4th Republic through education,” the group noted.
“Currently, 40 underprivileged students purposely selected from Zongos and deprived communities are in Cuba studying medicine through scholarship by the ZDF. Apart from this, thousands of Zongo children, are currently benefiting from the Free SHS policy introduced by President Akufo-Addo. Still on education, the administration of President Akufo-Addo and Dr. Bawumia has also restored allowances to Arabic instructors at various Islamic Schools (Makaranta) in Zongo communities. It is important to note that this allowance was cancelled by the erstwhile government led by Mr. John Dramani Mahama.”
Special praise for Vice President Bawumia
Narrowing its scope to Dr. Bawumia, the group commended him for his commitment towards ensuring sustainable development in Zongos and other deprived communities.
They also hailed his spirit of inclusiveness, particularly in a secular country like Ghana where religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence ought to be promoted.
“ZOMOD wishes to particularly commend the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia for his commitment towards the development of the Zongos, underprivileged communities as well as the country.”
“Dr. Bawumia has provided the required leadership support to his boss, the President, and in the process, he has demonstrated his commitment to the needs of his people and beyond.”
“In a secular country like Ghana, where there is the need for people of diverse religious backgrounds to peacefully co-exist, ZOMOD, has over the past three years, noted with admiration, the Vice President’s ability to respond positively to the calls of both Zongo/Muslims and our Christian brothers, be it in the mosque or in the church.”
On the 2020 elections, the group said it will be a contest of records, adding that people of the Zongos will vote the party and candidates who have demonstrated true commitment to sustainable development, and not parties and candidates who engage in the sharing of rice and sugar, as well as the promotion of divisive tribal politics.