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Regional News Mon, 31 May 2004

Muslims advised against discriminating against girls in education

Kumasi, May 31, GNA - Parents in Zongo communities have been advised to avoid discriminating against their daughters, especially in the area of education.

Mallam Bashiri Seidu, newly installed Sarkin Zongo of the Ayigya community, a suburb of Kumasi, who gave the advice, said girls like their boy counter-parts, were endowed with virtually the same potentials and should therefore be given equal opportunities to also climb the educational ladder.

Mallam Seidu gave the advice at the funeral of the late Sarkin Zongo of Ayigya, Alhaji Naba Seidu who died last April at the age of about 121, and reigned for 56 years.

The ceremony was also used as a platform for the enskinment and swearing-in of Mallam Bashiri Seidu, as the new Sarkin Zongo of the Ayigya community.

Mallam Seidu stated that society was fast changing and that the era when Zongo girls were only confined to domestic chores and early marriages were over, saying "the Zongos must also change with the times". The new Sarkin Zongo said he believed that it was only by the combined efforts of education of boys and girls that the zongo communities could be salvaged from the current under-development. Mallam Seidu announced that as a first step to ensure a balance and encourage more girls to acquire formal education, he had planned to set up an educational fund, to focus mainly in supporting the education of girls.

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He said another area of serious concern to him was sanitation and environmental cleanliness, and that he would liaise with the Unit Committee to mount a sustained campaign to instil in individuals, the habit to keep their environment clean at all times.

Nana Adu Broni, Odikro of Ayigya, advised the new Sarkin Zongo to devise pragmatic strategies to forge unity amongst the different northern ethnic groupings at the zongo.

He said this is because success in achieving peace and development of the zongo, depended to a large extent on unity of purpose amongst the people.

Sheikh Omar Abubakar, chief imam of the Yadiga community in Ashanti region, who led the enskinment and swearing-in of the new Sarkin Zongo, advised Mallam Seidu not to lord it over his subjects but rather sacrifice his time, energy and experience to serve them. 31 May 04

Source: GNA
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