By Kebba Jeffang
Sheikh Muhideen Hydara, the Khaliph General of Darsilami Sangajor, and BuyehTouray, the Alkalo of the same village in Foni Kansala district, West Coast Region, who were arrested by the police for observing the Eid prayers on Tuesday, 29th July 2014, are still being held by the police for three days now.
Both the religious leader and the village head were moved from Yundum police station where they were detained for two nights, to the Police Headquarters in Banjul on Thursday morning, 31st July 2014.
This reporter was at the police headquarters in Banjul to enquire about developments surrounding the arrest and detention of the two. While waiting at the station, the two elders were later seen being taken away in the presence of their families and well wishers. It was later learnt that they were being taken to the Supreme Islamic Council (SIC) headquarters in Kanifing.
Following them to the Council’s headquarters while under police escort, the two were taken inside. Initially, the relatives and well wishers were prevented from entering the building but later allowed in after the 2pm prayers to witness the ensuing discussion held by the officials of the SIC and the two. Those who were present at the meeting, on behalf of the Council, included Imam Abdoulai Fatty, Sheikh Ebrima Jarju, among others. It was a day long meeting which ended after 4pm.
A source indicated that during the meeting the Khaliph General, Sheikh Muhideen Hydara, refused to accept any wrongdoing.
From the SIC, the marabout and the alkalo were then taken to Yundum police station accompanied by a large crowd of followers and sympathisers.
Speaking to this reporter at the Yundum police station yesterday, 31st July 2014, Sheikh Jai Mukhtarr Hydara, a relative of the marabout, said the two could not be released as they were told by the police that they are not ready with them as the matter has to be forwarded above.
However, at the time of going to press, Sheikh Muhideen Hydara and Alkalo Buyeh Touray were both detained at Yundum police station.
It could be recalled that on Monday, 28th July, 2014, when meeting with the Muslim religious elders, President Yahya Jammeh ordered the Minister of the Interior to arrest any Imam and Alkalo, in any part of the country, who led or allowed prayers to mark Eid el Fitr on Tuesday, 29 July, instead of that very day.
Apparently, as a sign of a u-turn, the members of the Supreme Islamic were seen on GRTS television on Monday evening announcing that the president’s order affects only those residing in Banjul, Kanifing Municipality and West Coast Region, but exempts the other parts of the country.