Outspoken imam Abdoulie Fatty has rubbished reports that he had taken D3m that former president Yahya Jammeh gave him to hand over to Muslim televangelist Dr Zakir Naik at the Banjul International Airport.
Speaking to Paradise FM’s Kebba Camara, the former State House imam said he was not even at the airport when Dr Zakir was leaving the country.
“I heard it was three million; I don’t know whether it was dollars or dalasis. But I am not sure Jammeh would give Zakir three million dollars. If it was dalasi, what would he do with Gambian currency outside this country? It would have only been paper to him,” he said.
In 2014, former president Jammeh invited Dr Zakir Naik to the 20th anniversary of the July 22nd Revolution. Since his departure, reports emerged on the online grapevine that Imam Fatty who reportedly couriered the money, did not return the money to Jammeh after Dr Zakir had declined to take it.
However according to Imam Fatty, he was not even the preacher’s handler in the country as there was a committee in place for it.
“I was not even in the committee that handled his activities. How could I have seen that money? You think I will take Jammeh’s money and be sitting here today? Jammeh jailed his first cousin for many years just because he took his money. His own nephew who was running errands for him all long, he jailed him for many years because he took his money. Who am I to take Jammeh’s money and be sitting here unscathed,” he quizzed.
He added: “In fact why didn’t they ask Zakir Naik about it when he returned here? All the journalists were here but none of them asked him if I had taken his money. No one asked Jammeh or anyone in the government about that money. In fact, it was Ousman Badjie who was close to Zakir among the ministers. Why would Jammeh give me Zakir’s money if he could have simply given it to the imam ratib or the president of the Supreme Islamic Council or the minister? People should really let me be for once. I didn’t do anything wrong.”
The controversial Imam reiterated his stance on FGM, saying the practice should remain because the harmful effects are overly exaggerated.
“It is Islamic and they cannot stop it because if you fight Islam it only spreads more. Anyone who fights Islam never ends well. By Allah, anyone who fights this circumcision will not end well. Let people be. Everything they are claiming about FGM is a lie. Jack Faal who is a doctor and delivers babies, said the claim that women who have undergone FGM bleed to death during birth is a lie.
The blood that comes from that part of the cut only drops but doesn’t ooze as widely claimed. That part of the body is the fastest to regenerate. If anyone who cannot perform FGM with perfection, the person should be taught. How many people has surgery killed and continues to kill? That hasn’t made people abandon surgery. FGM is Islamic and there is no Muslim leader who fears Allah and says the opposite,” he said.