The Muslim Community in the Upper East Region has marked this year’s Eid-Ul-Fitr with a special prayer for absolute restoration of peace and harmony to promote socio-economic development.
They prayed, particularly, for the chiefs and people of Bawku, Kandiga and Doba to embrace peace and end the precarious conflicts that had claimed many lives and destroyed property.
Sheik Yussif Umar, the Upper East Deputy Regional Chief Imam, who offered the prayer, said the hostilities being recorded in recent times were not only worrying to the Muslim Community but had retarded development in the region.
Since November 2021, the chieftaincy conflict in Bawku reemerged and, so far, more than 40 lives, including a 13-year-girl, had been lost while many houses and property destroyed.
The situation led to the imposition of curfew on the Bawku Township and its environs while the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) had also banned the wearing of smock and riding of motorbikes in the area.
It has affected economic activities, education and access to healthcare with many others fleeing to other parts of the region for safety.
Similarly, a curfew has been imposed on Doba and Kandiga, which in recent times, have been engaged in communal conflict over the location of a community-based health planning services (CHPS) compound and a police post on a certain piece of land.
That, the Deputy Chief Imam said, must stop and urged Muslims to pray to Allah for blessings of peace and harmony among the factions to ensure the development of the region and the country at large.
“We want to commend the Government and the security agencies for the effort they are making to ensure that there is peace, we are praying that Allah will bring peace to Bawku, Doba and Kandiga.”
Mr Stephen Yakubu, the Upper East Regional Minister, who joined the Muslims to mark the day, said the region was bordered by countries, which had experienced violence extremism and appealed to residents to volunteer information to help combat any spillover.
He urged the Islamic community to ensure that tolerance was key, adding: “Our striking enemy as a people remains poverty, disease and illiteracy.”
Mr Yakubu urged them to ensure that children of school going age were in school and retained, especially the girl-child.
“The state of secular education in our Muslim communities leaves much to be desired and if we are to bridge the gap in development between the north and south, then education should be the pivot,” he added.