By Omar Bah
The Supreme Islamic Council has denied reports that its officials had received millions of dalasis from President Adama Barrow for a nationwide tour to canvass for him to serve for five years.
Recent social media reports suggested that President Barrow gave the top brass of the country’s apex Islamic body eight million dalasis for a nationwide tour to ask Gambians to rally behind him regarding his plan to remain in office until 2021.
But in a rebuttal posted on its website on Friday, SIC said the tour has ‘nothing to do with the political situation of the nation.’
SIC added: “This is an annual activity that happens once every year. It has nothing to do with the political situation of the nation. It is just coincidence that year’s topic is about “Peace”. It is NOT ideal that the Council can spend millions of dalasis in a four (4) Ddays nationwide tour. Even President Barrow we think will NOT allow for that under these circumstances. If there is any expenditures on allowances for the team, that will not be more than three (3) to five (5) thousand each”.
“In 2017, the Gambia Government promised to give the Council five (5) million dalasis for the religious activities in the Gambia. With reasons best known to them, that has never materialised. Earlier this year, the same promise was made and still nothing ,” SIC further stated in a statement.
The Council said Gambians should be aware that SIC has been carrying out its activities without any funding from the Government.
“The Gambia Government has never given a Dalasi to the Council. The Executive of the Council contribute (from personal accounts) to pay staff salaries monthly and to help the needy. We assure the general public that, the Council is not here to mislead the nation. All our activities are upon the authentic teachings of the Beloved Muhammad. The Council is always open for any inquiries and concerns. Visit our Head Office on M.D.I. Road, Kanifing if you have any concerns and inquiries,” the release noted.