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Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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Imam Leigh urges Barrow to continue dialogue, defend women against violence

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Imam Baba Leigh of Kanifing has written an open letter to President Barrow on the recent national dialogue and the raging debate about the law against Female Genital Mutilation.

In it, Imam Leigh who is also a human rights commissioner, congratulated the president and all the participants on ”the successful commencement and conclusion of the National Dialogue initiated to foster unity and national development.”

He continued: “As the saying goes, ‘strike while the iron is still hot’. I want to use this opportunity to kindly urge you to call on all and sundry to continue engaging in constructive dialogue to nurture peace and harmony in The Gambia.

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Mr. President, in the same vein, your good office is also well placed to continue championing tolerance and respect for divergence. It is on this note that I kindly ask for you to advise the nation to stop the trend of hate speech that is infiltrating social media and community set ups. The vicious attacks on religious beliefs, social status, ethnicity, and other social identifications are harmful to the envious peace and stability The Gambia is known for. Mr. President, hate speech is a ‘fast troublemaker’ and The Gambia cannot afford to lose her stability to unnecessary spread of this societal ill.”

He called on the president and the nation to work together to end violence against women and children. “We have seen the unfortunate but avoidable risk of retrogression on the gains of violence against women in The Gambia. It is our collective responsibility and a duty to our women and future generations that The Gambia is rid of all forms of violence against women, including Female Genital Mutilation. As an award-winning peacemaker Mr. President, I am urging you to continue the good work and build on the successes that have been registered thus far. Finally, Mr. President, allow me to congratulate you and your team including Amie Bojang Sissoho once again and all the vibrant ladies and gentlemen who made the national dialogue possible”, he concluded. 

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