By Kebba Jeffang
Alhagie Abdoulie Fatty, former imam of state house mosque who led outgoing President Yahya Jammeh in many Friday and feast prayers has told journalists that for the sake of peace President Jammeh should peacefully hand over power to president-elect Barrow.
The Saudi trained Imam led an organization called World Assembly of African Youth whose objective is to educate people and construct mosques for Muslims in The Gambia to congratulate and show their acceptance to the leadership of Adama Barrow, the president-elect, on Tuesday, December 20, 2016.
“If God decided for one to lead we must accept that and that is why we came to congratulate him and show him that we are behind him today and tomorrow. He is the president of everyone, it doesn’t matter who voted for or against him. Election is a democratic process and whoever has the majority is declared elected. For the interest of peace the verdict of the majority must be accepted by all of us whether we like the person or not and this is how to maintain peace. Conflict is very bad and anyone that looks for it doesn’t know it,” said Fatty.
He said God says ‘fear conflict that wouldn’t only affect the person who causes it but would affect a lot of people.’ He recalled that the former Libyan leader Muammar Al-Gaddafi was killed and many people are still dying. He also referred to Iraq after Saddam Hussein was captured and killed. He said all the developments during their terms are being destroyed including bridges, schools, hospitals etc. He cautioned that nobody should develop a place and then come back to destroy what you have developed because that is your legacy. “If you destroy it (your legacy) you are removed from history because you wouldn’t be remembered.”
He said “a human being should defend his or her legacy even if he/she is to lose his/her life just to see that he/she is remembered for good. This is why many people in the west prefer to resign if they fear their legacy will be destroyed by something against their will. If conflict comes, widows in the society will increase and this could result to adultery and fornication, arms will be spread around which causes uncontrollable and mysterious attacks on innocent people, hunger and thirst will prevail, it breaks relationships, it brings suspicion between trusted people, it makes refugees spread all over and the children wouldn’t know where their parents are due to displacement. All these are reasons why God does not want conflict. The Gambian people do not know conflict that is why we should avoid it.”
He said World Assembly for African Youth embarks on education, mosque construction, sponsoring the orphans, digging wells etc.
“We told him (Barrow) what we do and we are ready to work with him. He received us well with his coalition partner Amie Bojang Sissoho.”
“My advice to all Gambians is whoever is not happy about this decision should be patient and be happy because nothing can change Allah’s will,” said Fatty.
He therefore urged for general acceptance of Barrow as the leader of the country, reconcile and reunite our ties as one people of The Gambia. He added that there is no Mandinka, Wolof, Jola or Fula etc because people intermarry and bear children. He advised the general public to strengthen the existing joking relationship among ethnic groups and people in order to solve our problems amicably.
“I will call on his co-workers such as the ministers, deputies, civil servants, soldiers and other security apparatus to accept the decision and if that happens, the president will accept it too.”
“I don’t think he holds the rejection very firmly because he accepted earlier which makes the whole country and the whole world happy as this is the first democratic change from one government to another. This was an absolute surprise and joy for all of us and the world in general. Therefore, I advise those who are surrounding him to talk to him and make him understand that conflict has no place in The Gambia. The total population of the Gambia is less than that of only Dakar as the capital city of Senegal. And (May God forbid) if conflict comes even if 1000 people are victimized it will be felt very well,” said Fatty.
According to the renowned Islamic scholar, he doesn’t think President Jammeh will put The Gambia in conflict if he is reminded of what he has been saying before. He said Jammeh “has vowed to defend the Gambia to the last drop of his blood. This is the moment of that vow and President Jammeh should defend the Gambia with his last drop of blood. He should handover power peacefully to the new government so that tomorrow history can remember our good names. I am praying to God to make the Gambia peaceful.