By Kebba Ansu Manneh
Haji Suwareh, a member of the Coalition of Progressives Gambians (CoPG) has urged Shiekh Chebu Cham, a prominent Islamic Scholar in the country to have faith and be bold enough to hold the regime of President Adama Barrow accountable for its failures.
He added that it is very sad and sorrowful for such an Islamic Scholar to show a blind eye to the sufferings of the Gambian people.
His reaction comes on the heel of the prominent Imam’s last Friday sermon where he said there is no hardship in the country but only peace and peace thus calling on Gambians to nurture the peace and stop complaining about hardship in the country.
“Looking at the current hardship Gambians are going through from rampant corruption, high cost of living, and the poor performance of the Barrow Gov’t, seeing an Imam standing and saying there is no hardship in this country is pathetic and sorrowful.
“Although, I have maximum respect for Sheikh Imam Chebo Cham. In the current situation of the country where corruption is rampant, injustice, mismanagement, and embezzlement of public funds spread in almost every government department and done with impunity. I think scholars like him should stand bold and hold Barrow accountable based on his promises and his governance system in general,” Haji Suwareh reacted to Imam Chebu Cham’s sermon.
He added “saying that there is no hardship in the Gambia is misleading and pathetic. In this serious hardship, Gambians are going through, I think scholars should stand by the people and emphasise to the leaders the need for good governance and accountability.”
According to him, the hardship Gambians are facing is quite evident in their daily struggles to provide food for their families coupled with increasing unemployment of youths and lack of capital for women entrepreneurs. He argued further that Shiekh Chebu Cham and other scholars should be honest in reminding President Adama Barrow of the hardships the citizens are going through during their sermons rather than brainwashing him that there is no hardship in the country.
He noted that the scholars should be bold enough to reference the leadership style of caliph Umar bun Khatab RA in fulfillment of their responsibilities. He added that they should be consistently reminding the current government under the leadership of Adama Barrow to act like such leaders rather than miss informing them.
According to him, President Barrow and all other elected leaders campaigned on the premises of changing the difficult livelihoods of the people and hence should be held liable for any hardship in the country.
He noted that HE Barrow and all elected leaders got elected based on promises they made to citizens during the campaign periods that they will improve on their lots including the affordability of food and create employment for the citizens.
He claimed that the president is receiving a monthly salary of more than three hundred and thirty thousand dalasi different from his travel allowances, clothing, and one hundred and forty thousand daily fish money. While he continued that the average Gambian cannot even afford a bag of rice which today is costing one thousand eight hundred dalasi (D1, 800) for poor quality American rice with a high cost of house rent. “How many people are affording this?” Haji Suwareh asked.
“Our scholars like Chebo Cham should remind our leaders about Caliph Umar (RA) sense of justice for the people he served which he does not seem to have been merely theoretical and fake. Indeed, there are many accounts of his being a true man of the people, starting from patrolling the streets in person to see the state of the population under his responsibility and lots more,” CoPG member disclosed.
He added: “It is very sad in The Gambia where innocent lives perished due to corruption and the negligence of our leaders. Yet still, you heard us saying is normal and is Allah’s will which means no one should be held accountable.”
He asked the controversial Islamic Scholar Shiekh Chebu Cham that “do you know how many people go to bed daily with hunger or how many children are awakened by hunger every night because their parents cannot afford food for them because of poverty?”