Jan 7, 2015, 10:58 AM
The Elders of Banjul, who re-emphasised their determination to be always behind the President, prayed for his continued good health and success.
The Committee of Elders would work in close collaboration with Supreme Islamic Council, as a joint force, to work with President Jammeh, said Alieu Mboge, secretary to the Committee of Banjul Muslim Elders.
Mr Mboge applauded and congratulated President Jammeh for the two awards recently presented to The Gambia by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the African Union.
In his comments, the Imam Ratib of Banjul, Alhaji Cherno Mass Kah, also thanked President Jammeh for his dynamic leadership, and for lifting Gambia’s credential as a country of stability and peace.
He said President Jammeh is a steadfast, religious and God-fearing leader, who has distinguished himself as a great statesman in the Islamic world.
He also thanked and applauded President Jammeh for being compassionate to humanity, which he demonstrated by freeing 85 prisoners who recently benefited from the President’s prerogative of mercy.
Allah, he said, shall reward President Jammeh for such noble and admirable acts.
The Imam Ratib also assured the President of their unalloyed support as religious leaders to his government, so as to ensure that the peace and tranquility is preserved at all times in The Gambia.
In his remarks, Gambia Supreme Islamic Council President Alhaji Momodou Lamin Touray said they, as a body, always consult extensively with others in the Islamic world to ensure that The Gambia observes the Eldul Fitr in unity, and advised Muslims in the country to refrain from anything that will cause hatred among the people. “Allah will punish anyone that leads others astray,” he said.
The Vice President, Isatou Njie-Saidy, commended the Committee of Banjul Muslim Elders for maintaining such a good tradition in meeting with the leadership of the nation on such occasions. This, she added, helps strengthen the relationship between the people and their leadership.
The Vice President also called for unity among all Gambians to enable the nation attain her development objectives. She also thanked President Jammeh for promoting Islam.
VP Njie-Saidy also used the occasion to urge the youth to take up their responsibility with all seriousness, as they are the future leaders of The Gambia.
In his address to the gathering, President Yahya Jammeh said the Islamic religion has a large number of young people who practise the faith across the country.
He also advised that each region in the country constitutes their Council of Elders, to deter undesirable elements who would want to distort Islam for the love of money.
He also warned against taking advantage of Gambians by misleading the people and sowing the seed of conflict.
Citing the religious heritage of The Gambia as captured in manuscripts discovered at the renowned Islamic learning centre of Timbuktu during pre-colonial period, President Jammeh said Gambians should be proud and feel dignified as a country and people.
He also raised concern about the increasing rate of heinous crimes in some parts of the country, warning that he would enforce the law to the letter without fear or favour, on anyone found wanting, and called on all household heads to ensure that family members, especially the younger ones, are well brought up and good morals and religious values inculcated in them.
President Jammeh, as a gesture of goodwill, later gave a cash amount of D500,000 to the Committee of Muslim Elders as their ‘Salibo’ for the koriteh (Edul Fitr).
The President also commended the business community for not increasing prices of basic commodities during the month of Ramadan, saying that such a practice must continue.