By Omar Bah
The Paramount Chief has called on the Gambia government to stop the Yoruba community from practising a monarchy in The Gambia.
Chief Momodou Bojang was responding to a section of the Yoruba community, who recently honoured Abolade Moshood, aka Oba Abolade, as the royal father of the community.
“A Nigerian cannot be a king in The Gambia,” the Kombo North chief told The Standard. “That is practically impossible.
“We are not having a king. How can you impose it on us? That is an impersonation. We will not take it,” he added.
Chief Bojang said The Gambia should graduate from being a state where anyone could just dump “things on us”.
“The government or Gambians should not accept it. If they want to do their traditional dancing and cultural activities, they can do that. Nobody will stop them but they cannot practise something that is not recognised by our laws. I am raising these issues because I know their culture; we cannot handle it,” he argued.
Chief Bojang said he has raised it with the Nigerian community but no one listened.
“I have asked them to tell me which monarchy they belong to because I know Nigeria has monarchs and paramount chiefs but they are answerable to the king. If Moshood Abolade wants to be a king, he should go back to Nigeria and be a king there but not here. You can come here as a visitor with your portfolio but you cannot exercise those royal powers here,” he argued.
He added: “I don’t have anything against the Nigerian community but I am worried that if such activities are unchecked, there will be dire consequences. I remember King HRH Appolus Chu visited The Gambia but he never requested to see the self-proclaimed king [Abolade]. That king is a Yoruba … if they were legitimate, he would have visited them.”
Chief Bojang said the Amir of Northern Nigeria also came to The Gambia in 2002 but never visited them, adding that even the Nigerian High Commission doesn’t attend their programs.
Contacted for comments on the issue, the minister of regional government Sheriff Abba Sanyang, simply said: “If you call yourself a king, where is your kingdom? If you are a king, you should have a kingdom so people’s minds are not controlled by the government. The government controls its policies in the state, so any illegal action is unacceptable by the constitution.”
Mr Sanyang’s predecessor, Musa Drammeh, had once described the coronation of a Manding king in The Gambia as unconstitutional.