The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has called for prayers and the spirit of sacrifice among Ghanaians as Muslims mark the Eid al-Adha celebration.

In a message to mark the day, Mr Bagbin said: “During this solemn period, I urge all Muslims to pray for Ghana and the welfare of our people as you come together for the congregational prayer to mark this special day.

“I believe when we approach Allah together in supplication, He will listen to our prayers to guide our dear country along the path of truth and righteousness.”

He noted that the country is in trying times, adding that praying for the nation during this solemn occasion will  “place us on the path towards national reconstruction and restoration.”

“These are not the best of times for our country. The challenges we have in the various aspects of national endeavours are pronounced. Our economy needs an urgent boost if we are to experience growth and development. We have been propagating a paradigm shift in the management of our economy, which never seems to materialise. We cannot continue down the route on which we are currently, with very little effort at industrialisation: it has not been helpful.

“Within our social setup, education and health facilities are overstretched. The growth in our population, which I believe will be borne out by the ongoing population and housing census, has not seen a reciprocal attempt to improve upon infrastructure for health and education. The result is there for all to see: lack of hospital beds and schools under trees continue to be challenged.

“On top of all these, Ghana remains sharply divided along political lines. We strive to find the political coloration of citizens who raise issues with where our country is headed, instead of finding out the reasoning and the logic in the issues raised. We cannot continue like this. In addition, we see very little attempt to punish corruption and inefficiency among the political class, thereby creating the perception of political clubbing at the highest level of the political superstructure of this country,” he bemoaned.

While calling on Muslims to imbibe the habit of sacrifice and love for one another as characterised by the Holy Prophet, Mr Bagbin said Nigerians must remain united at all times to be able to face the challenges confronting the country.

“Leaders of this country need to exhibit a lot more sacrifice whilst we work at resolving the many challenges that confront us. This is where my admiration for Eid al-Adha comes to the fore: the spirit of sharing and the sacrifice that the Islamic faithful exhibit during this period is legendary. This is particularly towards the elderly, loved ones, and the deprived in society,” he added.