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West Coast religious leaders stage national day of prayer

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By Omar Bah

Scores of respected religious leaders in the West Coast Region on Wednesday assembled at the Governor’s office to pray for the country and President Adama Barrow.

The religious leaders recited the Holy Qur’an at least 125 times. The day-long event was dedicated to the country and the president as they observed Gambia’s 56th Independence celebration.

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Speaking on behalf of the religious leaders, the Calipha of Pirang, Seedy Muctarr Gassama, said praying for the country’s peace and stability should be every Gambian’s business and urged people “not to see the move otherwise”.

“I am happy to tell you that all the religious leaders in the region attended this important national undertaking. We didn’t come here because we want to be appointed into positions or otherwise. We just believe as Muslim leaders, we should lead by example in ensuring peace and stability,” he said.

He urged Gambians to avoid “disrespecting or underestimating each other, especially our leaders”.

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The Minister of Information, Ebrima Sillah, said: “We were contacted by the Muslim elders of the region, that they have decided to perform the prayers as part of their obligation to pray for The Gambia for peace and stability and continued progress.”

“This is an important but also significant milestone as the council of elders of the West Coast and also the religious leaders combined have decided that they are not able to leave issues of maintaining peace to government alone. On behalf of the president and the people of The Gambia, we thank them most profoundly for their initiative,” he said.

Minister Sillah said naturally, religious leaders are very important in the whole equation of peace and maintenance of peace in any country or society.

“The Gambia is actually a country where we have a population of 90% Muslims and religious leaders and imams in our communities coming here praying for the country that the need for peace is very important and significant given the number of different people they lead,” he added.

The Governor of the West Coast Region said his office is glad to host such an important event. He advised Gambians of all walks of life to embrace each other in the interest of peace and stability.

Governor Sanneh said similar Quranic recitations will be held across the country in all the other four regions.

“We need prayers in this country because discipline and respect are gradually eroding and as a result, people are gradually finding it difficult to understand each other. This national prayer is something we should all cherish,” he said.

The Paramount Chief, Muhammad LK Bojang, said:

“As seyfolu, our number one priority is to maintain peace and stability in the areas we serve. As a result, I want to urge all my fellow seyfolu and alkalolu to preach peace and stability. I also want to call on Gambians to maintain peace and stability.”

He said Gambians should realise that “it is God who gives us President Adama Barrow and… we should all accept it in good faith and support him because no amount of hatred can remove him from power, if God doesn’t destine it”.

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