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OIC Gambia stages first national forum, over 3,000 delegates expected at Banjul submit

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By Fatou Saho

The Gambia Secretariat of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation on Saturday staged a national forum as the secretariat steps up preparations for the 15th OIC global summit slated for 4 to 5 May in Banjul.

The thematic hall was filled with different stakeholders, representatives from all the communities, imams, alkalolu, seyfolu, representatives from the Supreme Islamic Council and the Gambia Christian Council, youth leaders and women groups.

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Addressing the national forum, which is the first since preparations started, the chief executive officer of OIC Gambia, Yankuba Dibba, praised the significance of the attendance at the forum.

He said The Gambia will need collaborative efforts and prayers as the country is set to welcome over 3,000 delegates, with kings, presidents, and prime ministers among the dignitaries.

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“Gambians are bound by one rope; nothing differentiates us and this is not about politics or religion; it is about The Gambia. We all have a stake in it. Despite our small size, the 57 OIC member states chose The Gambia to host the 15th summit, after which President Barrow will chair the Ummah for three years. Every convergence of the ummah will be held in The Gambia,” he told the audience, adding that this is the biggest convergence in the country since independence.

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Nfally Fadera, head of communication, appealed to the gathering to make the OIC summit known to people in their various communities. He enjoined them to foster national cleanliness, encourage cooperation with authorities and remain vigilant.

Qadi Omar Secka, the vice president of the Supreme Islamic Council, assured the secretariat of the council’s support in creating awareness about the summit.

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Reverend Leonard Allen, representative of the Christian Council, said the summit is for all Gambians regardless of religion and equally assured the commitment of all Christians in hosting the event.

Paramount Chief Momodou Bojang promised: “We will maintain unity and fulfill the reasons you called us here for”.

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