Written By Rukayyatu Mohammed Billa
The Member of Parliament for the Effia constituency of the Western Region of Ghana, Hon. Joseph Cudjoe has called on institutional heads to respect the rights of Muslims and stop trampling on their freedom. He reminded them that the national constitution guarantees all the freedom of belonging to any religion or association of one’s choice.
“No one has the right to coerce any student to attend the service of any religion he or she does not subscribe to, because that is in clear contravention of the constitution of our dear nation,” he said. He added that any time a debate is raised in parliament to that effect he will never hesitate to stand by the constitution and the rights of Muslims.
The MP, who was speaking to your authoritative news website www.mytawheedonline.com reiterated his love for the Muslim community hence his track record in sponsoring three eminent Muslims to Makkah for the hajj with the fourth one, a woman being processed to go this year.
Effia is a constituency with the largest Zongo community in the Western Region where majority of the people are Muslims with ancestry from the Northern part of the country.
“I got the opportunity to live amongst Muslims at Effia Zongo since age 17 and I have come to love them so much.” He intimated. He added that most of his friends from primary school to date are from the Zongos and therefore he sees himself as one of them, adding that his victory over a Zongo boy in the last elections attests to his popularity in the Zongo.
“For the love I have for my people I decided to represent them in parliament so as to help raise their status socially, economically and intellectually, and I believe I have not done badly.” He said.
According to Hon Cudjoe his track record in the constituency is there for all to see and that he will never shirk his responsibilities as the representative of the people in parliament.
The MP has so far sponsored three eminent Muslims to embark on the hajj since his election and when this writer asked why he took interest in sponsoring those people, Hon Cudjoe intoned that he recognizes the importance of the hajj in the life of every Muslim, and seeing the high cost of embarking on it he decided to select some people amongst the leadership who could not afford it and sponsored them. He added that the fourth beneficiary who happens to be a woman would also be going this year.
Some of the other developmental projects embarked upon by him are an ICT centre for the Al-Azhariya School at Effiakuma, renovating of some drainage system, and a mechanized borehole. He added that he intends to sink more of the boreholes at all the main mosques in the constituency.
The legislator went ahead to call for the support of the Muslim community whom he referred to as “my people” and promised to work towards eradicating poverty, and also to improve upon sanitation so as to curb any incidence of diseases caused by insanitary conditions.