By Kebba Jeffang
Shieikh Muhideen Hydara, the caliph general and Alkalo Buyeh Touray, all of Sangajor Darsilami in Foni Kansala District, West Coast Region were on Friday, 1st August, 2013 handed a police bail bond of One Hundred Thousand Dalasi (D100, 000. 00) each and later asked to report today Monday, 4th August, 2014 after spending three nights in police custody.
This development came after the Inspector General of police Yankuba Sonko, visited the great marabout at Yundum police station on Friday when he had a short discussion with the men who were accused of praying on a different day from the day declared by the Supreme Islamic Council.
The two who were arrested by the police for observing the Eid prayers on Tuesday, 29th July 2014, spent three nights in police custody.
On Thursday morning, 31st July 2014 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.
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.
Initially, the relatives and followers were prevented from entering the SIC building but later allowed in after the 2 pm 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 daylong meeting which ended after 4pm.
A source indicated that during the meeting the Khaliph General, Sheikh Muhideen Hydara, refused to accept any wrongdoing. The source said that the Khaliph General should just confess that what he did is wrong and promised that it would never be repeated. The information stated that the Khaliph General insisted that he would not confess that his action was wrong and is unlawful.
From the SIC the marabout and the alkalo were then taken to Yundum police station accompanied by a large crowd of followers and relatives.
Sheikh Muhideen Hydara and Alkalo Buyeh Touray spent their third night 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 Monday, 28 July, the day declared by the SIC.
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.