Medina Kaolack grand Imam calls on President Jammeh
Sunday, January 18, 2009
The Gambian leader, Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya Jammeh, last Friday, received at State House Sheikh Tijan Cisse, Grand Imam of Medina Kaolack in Senegal.
The scholar, who is said to have taken the mantle of Imamship in Kaolack, in August 2008, was accompanied to State House by Imam Ratib of Banjul, Sheikh Alieu Cherno Mass Kah. Speaking at a meeting held at the cabinet room in State House, Professor Jammeh recalled the support and cooperation he got during the course of the transition period from the late Imam Hassan Cisse, elder brother of Sheikh Tijan Cisse.
This visit to The Gambia is said to be the first official visit by Imam Sheikh Tijan Cisse, and this, Professor Jammeh believes, is a fervent demonstration of commitment to the relationship that existed between him and the late Imam. He expressed gratitude to Imam Cisse for his friendly gesture.
Professor Jammeh also seized the opportunity to challenge religious leaders on their role in reinforcing and strengthening the peaceful and cordial ties that prevails between The Gambia and Senegal. He however expressed regret over some of the isolated complications that ensued between the two countries. These, he noted, would only serve as obstacle to the realization of mutual benefit by the two peoples. He recalled instances where Gambians had suffered unwarranted treatment in the hands of the Senegalese authorities.
He noted that since he assumed the mantle of leadership of this country, only God knows the extent to which he had gone in ensuring the maintenance of the fruitful relationship and peace between the two countries. "I have no ill-intention against Senegal and its government. What is more important is the fact that Gambians always have good intentions for Senegalese. This can be attested to by their dominant presence in Gambian markets," Professor Jammeh remarked.
While reiterating his firm resolve to reinforcing peace, stability, understanding and mutual ties between Senegal and Gambia, the Gambian leader maintained his government's position of never and ever harbouring any ill-intention against the Senegalese government.
"We are only divided by the colonial rulers, but these two countries are one, as can be seen in our tradition, culture and norms, which are very unique in the African continent," he said. In the middle of his speech, President Jammeh shifted his attention to the ongoing crisis in Gaza, an issue that bothers him to the core, like many other peace loving people around the world. Describing the situation in Gaza as unacceptable, the president strongly denounced the disheartening actions of the Israelis.
While calling for urgent and pragmatic solution to the crisis, the Gambian leader blamed the Arab world and the international community at large for their show of indifference towards the suffering of the people of Palestine. Speaking earlier, Imam Sheikh Tijan Cisse informed the Gambian leader that he had assumed the mantle of Imamship soon after the death of his beloved brother, Imam Hassan Cisse. He noted with gratitude the great importance President Jammeh attaches to the Islamic religion and the spirit the Gambian leader has inculcated in Gambians.
He acknowledged Professor Jammeh's immense efforts in bringing lasting peace to many crisis struck regions around the world, and humanity in general. For his part, Islmaila Sambou, secretary of state for Local Governments and lands, spoke highly on the Gambian leader's commitment to the course of the religion.
Speaking on the occasion, the Imam Ratib of Banjul, Sheikh Alieu Cherno Mass Kah, commended the Gambian leader for the audience despite his busy schedule. He said the fact that they were given audience under such circumstances demonstrates the president's unshakable commitment to the course of the religion.
Sheikh Tijan Jelly Cisse, cousin to Imam Cisse, described President Jammeh's resolve to the course of the religion as unique. Imam Cisse, accordingly, performed Friday prayers at the Independence drive mosque in Banjul, before convening a religious talk with Muslim elders, later in the evening, at the King Fahad Mosque in Banjul.
Author: by Hatab Fadera