President of the Republic Adama Barrow has explained the source of the D11,
252, 000 donation to Gambian pilgrims during the 2018 Hajj programme in Saudi Arabia
Speaking at a press briefing hosted by his spokesperson at the State House yesterday, the Presidency said it should be made known that the individual who provided the fund through the Saudi government did not want to be named; thus, the “anonymous philanthropist” indicated in the Press Release from the government spokesperson on August 19, 2018.
Amie Bojang-Sissosho, director of Press and Public Relations explained that during the president’s visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in June 2018, he was informed of a philanthropist, who, through the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, pledged to provide support to Gambian pilgrims this year.
“The support was done through the government of The Gambia. Fast forward to this years Hajj period, when the President Barrow was informed that the fund was available as promised for the pilgrims, (he) immediately instructed that it should be given directly to them while they were still in Saudi Arabia, because they might need it for personal use. Thus, each Gambian pilgrim was given 500 Riyals totaling to an equivalent of eleven million, two hundred and fifty thousand dalasis (D11, 250,000),” Mrs. Bojang-Sissoho explained.
She described it as “unfortunate” that the news was wrongly reported from Saudi Arabia on GRTS News as a personal donation from the president.
According to her, the president has given assurances to all Gambians that, notwithstanding the miscommunication about some of the issues involved, “he would continue to serve the best interest of The Gambia and Gambians in all his engagements and urges all Gambians to work together for the betterment of the country.”