Bahai News - Jammeh Receives URD Campaign Committee, Religious Leaders

Jammeh Receives URD Campaign Committee, Religious Leaders

November 5, 2001
Posted to the web November 5, 2001

Augustus Mendy

Almost three weeks after the Presidential election, more Gambians continue to storm Kanilai to congratulate president-elect, Yahya Jammeh on his resounding victory. The latest was Upper River Divisional Campaign committee and religious leaders.

In his introductory remark, the head of the URD delegation, commissioner, Daba Marena, said though URD failed to live up to expectation, they could not fail to congratulate President Jammeh. "We have identified the problem and it would soon be addressed before the National Assembly election," he promised.

Also speaking, Seyfo Kanda Kasseh Juwara, said the APRC's failure to win there was regrettable and would not be repeated. "Come the National Assembly elections, APRC will emerge victorious in URD".

Alhajie Saihou Samura also attributed URD's poor performance to opposition deceit and propaganda by telling people in the division that they had taken over the Kombos from the APRC.

Similar sentiments on the failure to capture URD were expressed by Alhaji Banta Camara, Kebba Suso, Aja Tenneng Touray and Banta Dibba, who all promised to manifest their support for the APRC in the National Assembly elections.

Speaking earlier, the SoS for tourism and culture, Yankuba Touray, told the URD delegation that President Jammeh was neither angry with them nor did he consider them as opposition. "Your fate will be determined in the National Assembly elections," he told them. SoS Touray outlined the numerous development projects President Jammeh had undertaken for the people of URD, among them, schools, good drinking water and roads.

Speaking during the occasion, president-elect, Yahya Jammeh said URD results were a real disappointment which was never expected. "I thought if the whole Gambia had defected to the opposition, URD was going to support us," he said.

He noted that he could not believe how such personalities like Mbemba Tambedou, Mr Cham, Omar Sey and other PPP 'old guard' could have "deceived you". They were here for 32 years and did not deliver anything for URD, the president-elect charged.

President-elect, Yahya Jammeh said URD was a forgotten division and only the advent of the APRC in 1994 brought development to the area.

Among the delegation were youths, chiefs, and alkalos. The ceremony was chaired by Alhaji Buba Michael Baldeh.

Religious leaders also called on president-elect, Yahya Jammeh to congratulate him.

Speaking at the occasion, the president of the Supreme Islamic Council, Banding Drammeh, said the outcome of the Presidential election was God's answer to "our prayers for a victory that will guarantee the peace and stability of The Gambia".

Also speaking, Baba Trawally, Amir of the Ahmaddiya Muslim Jamaat, said in any competition, there was a winner and it was people's responsibility to promote peace and stability for which The Gambia was known.

Rev Titus Pratt, general superintendent of the Methodist Church, asserted that the church had followed with great interest, the development efforts of the Jammeh administration since its advent to power in 1994. "The church hopes and prays that more greater results would be achieved in the next five years," he said.

Other speakers included Fr Gabriel of the Roman Catholic Church.

In his response, president -elect, Yahya Jammeh expressed appreciation for their effort and urged them to continue praying for the nation. He however cautioned them on the need to inculcate good moral values in the young, adding that certain imported ideas do not conform to our norms and values.

The president told the religious leaders that before any new religion is registered, it has to be recognised by the Supreme Islamic Council or The Gambia Christian Council.

"They have to look into their affairs, if they are satisfied that it is a genuine Islamic or Christian group, they can allow it to operate. A lot of people hide behind religion to make money," he said. He assured the religious leaders of his firm determination to give them all the support in strengthening religious faith.

President Jammeh finally appealed to them to be tolerant to each other and continue to ensure a peaceful co-existence.

"For religion, it cannot be imposed on anybody but acquired only through persuasion and reasoning," he said.

Present at both courtesy calls, were SoS Babucarr Blaise Jagne, permanent secretary, office of the president, Mamburay Njie and Fatoumatta Jahumpa Ceesay, director of Press and public relations at the State house. The delegation comprised members of the Supreme Islamic Council, the Gambia Christian Council, Ahmaddiya Muslim Jamaat and the Bahai faith.

©Copyright 2001, The Daily Observer (Banjul, Gambia)

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