By Omar Bah
The opposition Gambia Democratic Congress has urged Gambian imams and religious leaders in general to leave politics to politicians and continue to serve as respected components of society.
On Sunday, at least 300 Kanifing Municipality imams and Muslim leaders visited State House to meet President Adama Barrow.
During the meeting, Dembo ‘By Force’ Bojang, the religious adviser to President Barrow called on imams and alkalolu to ignore claims that they are not supposed to be in politics because there is no law book which says so.
However, in a write-up shared with The Standard, the GDC national youth president, Modou MC Cham, said: “The country’s imams should not under any circumstances involve themselves in politics. We urge them to remain neutral and continue to serve the interest of all.”
The party reminded the imams that as religious leaders, they should serve as guides and role models in a wider sense.
“Religious leaders are very important pillars of our social fabric. Apart from leading us in prayers and social functions, they mend broken ties and help in preaching peace and unity among us. When you sit before the president, I expect you all to fear God and tell him nothing but the truth about the realities that are happening in the country,” he said.
The GDC youth president said the imams should remind the president that breaching of trust is against Islam. “So in the final analysis we want to urge the imams to avoid being used by the president for his political purposes because ultimately he will go,” Cham said.
The GDC youth leader said it would have been expected that the venerable religious leaders would tell President Barrow to, in the interest of national stability, start engaging in national unification and stop making statements that would further divide the country along party lines.
“Even though we are convinced that the religious leaders’ visit was politically motivated and should not have happened in the first place – we at least expected them to raise the president’s recent comments regarding the exhumation of human bodies,” he said.
“They should have told the president that such deeds are un-Islamic and ungodly. They should have told him to repent and seek forgiveness especially to families whose love ones were exhumed,” MC Cham added.
Meanwhile, in a separate development the GDC has congratulated the Gambian Olympians for making the country proud in Tokyo.
“The GDC congratulates these incredible and exceptional Olympians, young men, and women for their high level of performance and for flying the Gambian flag high among other nations. The party through the Minister of Youth and Sports, further extend its sincere appreciation and gratitude to President Adama Barrow, his government and people of the Gambia for the support rendered to the Team.”