By Kebba Jeffang
The officials of the Gambia Supreme Islamic Council (SIC) and Banjul Muslim Elders jointly met the President-elect, Adama Barrow at Brufut Gardens to show their readiness and commitment to working with the new government following their victory at the 1st December presidential polls.
Alhagie Muhammed Lamin Touray, the president of SIC congratulated Barrow for his victory. He informed him that his council held an emergency meeting 3 days after the election and it was agreed that as the president of SIC, he should call the president-elect to congratulate him which he did. He said it was out of that meeting Barrow promised to call them whenever he opens his office which brought about this meeting.
President Touray said the SIC is an Islamic body present in all regions of the country and was founded in 1992. He thanked the former president Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara for allowing the establishment of the council. He said they have worked with all presidents including Jammeh and they hope to have the same cordial relation with the government as well. He said they are aware that God decides who to be President and he gives to the person he wishes.
Imam ratib of Banjul Alieu Cherno Mass Kah after congratulating Barrow said anyone who is the President of the republic is the president of all Gambians.
Lawyer Ousainou Darboe reacting to the statements thanked the religious leaders for showing their commitment to the government of the 3rd republic of the Gambia. He urged the Muslims leaders to guide the government on the right direction.
Adama Barrow, President-elect said his door is always open to work with the Islamic leaders in the country. He said he has confidence in them because he had worked with them several years, adding that the Imam Ratib Kah taught him while attending Muslim High School. He urged the leaders to preach peace and guide him at anytime he went wrong. He said during his conversation with the outgoing President Jammeh he told him that his time has ended as leaders come and go, noting that he is there to do his best in continuing the good job other presidents had done.
“I am young among you as some are my fathers, grandfathers and brothers, so your guidance is always important. For the Supreme Islamic Council and other Islamic leaders my doors are always open. Your role is to pray and guide the country along the right path. My candidature term did not exceed 3 months and I removed a president who served for 22 years, then that is Allah’s decision. I had never stood publicly in such political caliber to talk until now. I have looked and dreamt about this position so this is ultimately Allah’s decision,” Barrow concluded.
Meanwhile, several groups that sent delegations to assure their full cooperation to the president-elect Barrow include Jimara, Niani Dobo, Sutusinjang in Foni, Koli Ghadafi mosque Imams and delegates as well as women groups.
However, it could also be recalled that several diplomatic missions in the country including the US and UK ambassadors as well as European Union representatives and Christian Council also visited the new leadership of the country.