The President of the Republic, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya AJJ Jammeh Babili Mansa has strongly denounced tribalism in all its forms, saying it only creates problems in society and retards development. He further described it as un-Islamic, ungodly and absolute wickedness and totally forbidden in Islam.
President Jammeh made these remarks in Sabi village while addressing thousands of people during the inauguration of the thirty million dalasi (D30M) Sabi Health Centre on the far east of the provincial town of Basse in the Upper River Region (URR).
He reminded the people of the region that Muslims should not be tribalist, saying whoever is, as a Muslim, that person is challenging God who created all the creation.
The president further enjoined elders in the region to continue to counsel their children, saying most of the heinous crimes in the country are mostly caused in the region. A good Muslim, he went on, doesn’t hate his fellow Muslim.
“I have been talking about tribalism since 1994 and the reason why I am repeating it again here today is because tribalism has rooted here in URR and should be abolished because as good Muslims we should not be tribalist or racist, its un-Islamic and ungodly,” he reiterated.
The prophet of Islam, President Jammeh said, in his last sermon emphasised that all Muslims are one people. He [the prophet] was not tribalist and it was also clearly stated in the Quran that whether one is black, or white (irrespective of what their colour is) Muslims are one people.
On the importance of neighbourliness, President Jammeh advised the people to be careful with their neighbours, clean their hearts and let them not wish bad things for each other because God the Almighty Himself does not like underrating.
He further reminded the people of the region of what Allah says about tribalism which, according to him, brings about only retrogression, but not peace or love amongst each other.
“I want the whole country to live as one family and be each other’s keepers,” the President told Sabi meeting in URR, and urged the people of the region to take cue from the Central River Region.
Rape, murder and baby dumping
President Jammeh again warned against rape and murder among other crimes in the country especially in the URR. He said these crimes have become so rampant in that part of the country. According to him, URR has had the highest number of murder cases and other related heinous crimes this year alone, than all the regions in the country. At this juncture the president asserted that he will uphold the constitution and carryout what it says on murderers.
He urged parents to advise their family members against these acts, something he said, he would never forgive.
The president also cautioned against baby dumping, which is as well rampant in the URR now. This practice must be stopped, he stressed, noting that victims of such heinous crime will not be spared for any reason, thus calling on the parents to counsel their children against these crimes.
“If you inculcate discipline in your children and put them on the path of Islam they will sympathise with you and would never forget you wherever they find themselves, they will always think of you as parents,” he said, while citing the sponsors of Sabi Health Centre as one example. Those who sponsored the health centre are citizens of the village in the Diaspora and that is what patriotism is all about.
“What you have done is part of nation building, the government alone cannot do it all, we appreciate your effort and may Allah reward you for this.”
He assured them (the sponsors) that they would not regret what they have done. By the grace of the Almighty Allah, the president promised to provide the health centre with a brand new ambulance and one million dalasi to buy medicines, post nurses and constructs boreholes for the health centre and the village as well.
Speaking earlier, Ousman Sonko, the minister of Interior thanked the people of URR for their warm welcome. He called on the youths to remain steadfast and to desist from heinous crimes, saying it would not be taken lightly for whosoever committed them.
The minister of Environment, Climate Change, Water Resources, Parks and Wildlife, Pa Ousman Jarju also called on the people to jealously guard their forest and plant more trees.
The alkalo of Sabi, Alhagie Baba Sillah and the chief of Basse Hammeh Minteh Krubally all spoke at the meeting. They welcomed the president and entourage to the village and took turn to praise him for his numerous developments in the region.
Mohammed Susso, president of Sabu-sireh Kafo in Spain, Mansong Njai and Awa Sakiliba all from Sabi thanked the president for the developments in the region.