By Olimatou Coker
The Chairman of Pastors’ Intercessory Fellowship International which addresses the role of religion in national security, Bishop Professor Bernards Augustyn, on Tuesday held a forum on religious and security matters with government stakeholders at the Girls Guide School in Kanifing.
The forum was meant to highlight the need for continuous peace and stability in the new Gambia.
Speaking at the forum Bishop Bernard Augustyn, recalled that in 2016 the Pastors Intercessory Fellowship International initiated and successfully organized the first ever conference with religious leaders and security agencies on how both can network, collaborate, share useful and significant information to complement and enhance lasting relationship and support security operatives in maintaining meaningful peace in The Gambia.
He furthered added that this forum became expedient and exigent in the face of the current incidences of religious intolerance and political unpredictability which are threatening the national security of many nations today.
Hon Hamat Bah the minister of tourism, disclosed that the Pastors Intercessory Fellowship played a vital role during the past political impasse when they were bold enough to come out to mediate.
Hon. Bah said president Jammeh sent these men of God to negotiate between his government and the Coalition.
“I received a call from Bishop Professor Augustyn Bernards that the pastors would be pleased to meet with me. We met and they explained their roles to mediate. I was not having the authority but I met the Coalition and explained to His Excellency Adama Barrow who also approved the mediation process. Even the letter the coalition wrote to President Yahya Jammeh was given to the honourable men of God and they delivered it to Yahya Jammeh,” he said.
Other speakers included Minister of Agriculture, the Hon. Omar Jallow, and the National Assembly Member for Serekunda, the Hon. Halifa Sallah.