By Omar Bah & Ebrima Jallow
The leader of the Gambia Democratic Congress, Mamma Kandeh has warned that religious leaders who meddle in politics, could find themselves to be enemies of the people.
Addressing supporters at the Baobab Hotel recently, Kandeh raised specific concerns about the reported country-wide tour of members of the Supreme Islamic Council and the Banjul Muslim Elders purportedly to engage citizens on extending Barrow’s term to 5 years.
“If that is what they have done then whosoever embarks on such a mission must be regarded as an enemy to the interests of the Gambian people. From what I read, this looks like they are trying to help him stay for five years,” Kandeh alleged.
He further stated that instead of giving money to imams to embark on such a tour, the government should be concern with the lack of supplies and equipment in hospitals. “If helping to perpetuate the president is the mission of those elders then they are the enemies of the nation because they know better that the country needs to take care of more important things,” Kandeh said.
However, at a press conference convened upon their return, the imams denied they were ever on a political mission.
“Our mission was to promote peace and stability in the country. That was our message, the importance of peace in a democratic state,” said Alhagie Alieu Mboge of the Banjul Muslim Elders at the press conference.
He added: “It is very disheartening that rumours are going around that we have been used to promote political parties. Let me say that this statement is a gross irresponsibility and we denounce it in the strongest possible terms. We are too honored and respected to be involved or be associated with such things. We hope and believe that those who make such remarks will apologise in due process of time. ”
Cherno Alieu Mass Kah, the Imam Ratib of Banjul said the tour shall be an annual event aimed at discussing peace and stability of the nation adding that it only through peace that national development can be achieved.
”The youth should follow the footsteps of the good elders of the country and if misunderstanding comes in among us as mankind, we should reflect back to the sayings of the Quran on peace and tranquility in order to champion peace,” Imam Kah said
Imam Momodou Lamin Touray, president Gambia supreme Islamic council also expressed similar sentiments.