‘People want my resignation out of jealousy’

Jun 12, 2020, 12:57 PM | Article By: Arfang M.S. Camara

Imam Baba Leigh, a commissioner at the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has reacted to Gambians calling for his resignation amidst the commission’s 2019 annual report which seeks to protect the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender (LGBT).

The NHRC’s 2019 annual report which recommends that The Gambia government protect the rights of gays, was greeted with stiff criticism – with some suggesting that the belief starkly contradicts Imam Leigh’s religious principles.

“People are jealous, selfish and ignorant because Baba Leigh is an Imam and at the same time a commissioner at the National Human Rights Commission,” he said, while reacting to comments calling for his resignation during a press confab organised by NHRC yesterday.

Imam Leigh further said that he was fighting for all those people whose rights were violated.

The violation of people’s right led to Imam Leigh’s exile during Jammeh’s era, where he later sought asylum.

“Today Baba Leigh is asked to resign from the National Human Rights Commission because I am an Imam and Human Rights Commissioner. You have Muhammad Saudi in the National Human Rights Commission in Saudi Arabia as a Muslim who prays far more than me and who believed in Muhammad (S.A.W) more than me and nobody asked him to resign.”

You have many Muslims all over the world as human rights activists but unfortunately, my resignation comments came from somebody whom I have so much respect for, and believed that he is educated and well connected internationally and who knows what is happening all over the world. That person is now asking me to resign because I am a Muslim.”

“Any organisation will need someone who would preach, mediate and reconcile mankind, brothers and families. Our parliamentarians selected, scrutinized and appointed me because they felt that there is no person more qualified than me to be part of the commissioners.”

He made it clear that an appointment in which he was accepted by all the people cannot just be changed or questioned because of some or individual comments.

“Unfortunately I have nothing in common to fight or exchange any words with that person who is urging for my resignation from this important commission. This is a commission that I feel I can help my nation and human lives.”

“I have been refusing journalists' interviews over this matter for over two weeks because there are certain issues that I don’t need to comment on. Because the comments came from people, who, in my view are irrelevant hunters that are looking to be relevant.”

He noted that it is well known that he (Baba Leigh) is a household name that many people who want to be relevant in the society attack him or people like him.

“So it is high time for me to be mature enough to respond to people who deserve to be responded to.”