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Jammeh tasks Gambians to venture into economic activities

Aug 8, 2011, 1:24 PM | Article By: Lamin B. Darboe

President Yahya Jammeh has once again called on Gambians to venture into economic activities, to be more innovative and productive by taking full ownership of businesses in all sectors of the Gambian economy, if they want to avoid the frequent skyrocketing of prices of commodities.

Jammeh, who was speaking last Thursday at State House, during his annual Ramadan gifts to Gambians through regional governors and mayors, also called on the Muslim Ummah to practise the principle of sharing and caring.

The Gambian leader, who distributed a total of over 12,000 bags of sugar, said it is enshrined in the holy Quran that whatever little thing one has, he or she should share it with his or her fellow Muslim brothers and sisters, who are less fortunate.

This, he added, is what a true Muslim or believer should do.

He also called on Gambians to change their attitude and work for the development of this country, adding that he will not intervene next year should in case prices of commodities go up.

Noting that if Gambians work hard, the country will not need to import goods from outside, President Jammeh condemned profiteering (ribar) by some Gambian businesspeople, saying the act is un-Islamic.

“Even if we are not in Ramadan, ribar is forbidden in Islam,” he said.

“Anybody who is doing the act must desist from it immediately, because as a Muslim, it will never take you to heaven,” he added.

According to the Gambian leader, people should behave as true Muslims and Gambians, “because as true Muslims and Gambians, we have to fight together”.

He promised he would soon intervene in the selling of commodities like sugar, vegetable oil and meat at reasonable prices, noting that he would sell a cup of vegetable oil for D5.00 as opposed to the present market price of D10.00.     

The Vice President and Minister of Women’s Affairs, Isatou Njie-Saidy, commended President Jammeh for the gesture, noting that the Gambian leader will continue to assist Gambians be it in the holy month of Ramadan or not.

“If the President stands and talks, it is for our benefit;  if he asks us to work, he means working to help ourselves, and not him. Whatever the President does has a meaning. He has shown us that he is a true Muslim, and this is why he feels it is a point of duty to do what he was just doing,” she added.

The ministers of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) and Foreign Affairs, Fatou Lamin Faye and Dr Momodou Tangara respectively, and Alhagie Momodou Lamin Touray, President of Supreme Islamic Council, all lauded the gesture by the Gambian leader and called on the rich to share with the less fortunate.

Meanwhile, the West Coast Region and Kanifing Municipality each received 3,000 bags, Upper River and Central River regions 1, 500 bags each, Lower River and North Bank regions and Banjul each received 1,000 bags while the security forces received 500 bags.