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Jul 24, 2017, 10:58 AM

According to the Islamic calendar, the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha, locally known as Tobaski, will be celebrated on Saturday, 2nd September 2017.

As the Muslim faith demands, every household head should slaughter a ram in commemoration of the occasion, which is also known as the ‘Feast of Sacrifice’.

This year, Mr President, the feast will have added significance for it will be your first Tobaski as President of The Gambia, God willing.

We wish to remind you of the importance Gambians attach to Tobaski and implore you to initiate timely and concrete measures to ensure that there is sufficient supply of sheep at affordable prices.

In this regard, government should without delay use its bilateral relations with neighbouring countries such as Senegal, Mauritania and Mali to ensure the unimpeded importation of sheep into the country to cater for the huge demand.

Mr President, we also wish to suggest that you take the following measures to facilitate the arrival of sheep from the neighbouring countries: government should ensure the timely crossing of the flocks of sheep at the ferry points in the country; fees for ferry crossing should be reduced, and municipal tax on sheep should be abolished.

These measures will serve as incentives to the vendors and help control prices so that people can afford to buy and slaughter sheep as required on the feast of sacrifice.

In addition, Mr President, government should provide the ‘one-by-six’ salary advance to all civil servants to enable them meet their Tobaski obligations.

This assistance, if provided, will save our hard working civil servants from the dilemma of providing Tobaski requirements from their meager resources.

As the President, we want you to know how seriously Gambians, especially civil servants, look up to the government for assistance in their hour of need.

Have a good day, Mr President.