Politics

Mahama promises Muslims additional Eid holiday if he wins 2024 polls

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The flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama, has given assurance of his readiness to allow Muslims in the country an extra Eid holiday in the next NDC government.

The former president expressed concerns about the inability of Muslims to fully enjoy their holidays due to the sighting of the moon.

Mr. Mahama made these remarks during the 63rd Annual National Conference of the Ghana Muslim Mission in Kumasi on Friday, December 29.

He emphasized modifying the Public Holidays Act to benefit Muslims, adding that he would ensure it does not affect productivity.

Mr Mahama assured, “It is our intention to resolve the situation where some of our Muslim brothers and sisters do not enjoy the public holiday at the end of Ramadan fast due to the 29 or 30-day rule based on sighting the moon. Therefore, we will add a holiday to the celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr. If Insha-Allah we are voted into office, we will add an additional holiday to the Eid-ul-Fitr celebration. And we are going to do this by reconfiguring the Public Holiday Act so that Ghana maintains the same number of public holidays per year so that we do not affect productivity.”

The Member of Parliament for Madina, Francis-Xavier Sosu, on December 14, initiated a new private members bill to amend the country’s Public Holidays Act 2001, Act 601, by providing an additional two Islamic public holidays.

These are Tashreeq (a day after the Eid-al-Adha Festival) and Shaqq (a day before the Eid-al-Fitr).

The bill was submitted to the Clerk of Parliament on Wednesday, 29th November 2023, and is currently being processed.

Muslim leaders, on October 8, urged the government to designate two days as official holidays for Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha to address recurring disputes over the commencement of these holidays.

The Conference of Regional Imams of Ghana highlighted the persistent uncertainty about whether the Ramadan holiday should be observed on the 29th or 30th day.

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