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Bamine Jaiteh to challenge Sheriff Nano for Rawda presidency

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By Amadou Jadama

Sheikh Alhaji Bamine Jaiteh, a former interim president of Majmouatu Rawdatul Majaalis (Rawda), is set to challenge incumbent Sheriff Pa Nano Hydara for the presidency of the organisation.

Rawda, established in 2017, describes itself as an Islamic body committed to propagating religious values and tolerance in the country. It has a contentious relationship with the current Supreme Islamic Council.

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From 17 to 18 April, Rawda will hold a congress in Janjangbureh where the 105 eligible voting members of the organisation will elect new leaders after the expiration of the three-year term of the Nano Hydara-led executive.

The Independent Electoral Commission will conduct the election.

President Hydara was elected in 2021 and succeeded Baba Abubakar Drammeh who resigned citing old age.

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Talking to The Standard yesterday, Hydara, who doubles as the caliph of the Brufut sheriffian clan, stated: “Since I was elected as president of Rawda, I brought lot of achievements to the organisation and the country. For example, we ensured that we all fast and pray after sighting the moon here. Under my leadership, we also gave out charity to the poor and needy during Ramadan; we reconciled people who had conflict; we built Arabic schools for majaalis students and other developments.

“That is why I am seeking another mandate because I have many projects to implement for those schools and for other development areas. Therefore, I am appealing to eligible voters to give me another mandate so that I can complete my projects. I implore the members of Rawdatul Majaalis to conduct the congress in a very peaceful and orderly manner.

“Everybody has a constitutional right to contest or to support any candidate of their choice and there is nothing wrong with that. But let us desist from anything that would bring incitement of violence among us because we are inter-related and we are all Gambians. Therefore, let us not be an enemy to each other, “he urged. “I have no hatred against any of my opponents, but let us respect each other and the laws of the country. Let us also stop accusing each other. I helped a lot of people in this country and during my three years as president, I did lot of things for Rawda. Nobody can deny. I will continue to do that whether I am re-elected or not.”

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