As-salāmu alaykum [Peace be upon You]
I am a native Salikenni Village and a proud one for that matter and I am fortunate to be an eyewitness of this skirmish on the Eid-ul-fitr prayer ground, sitting third row from the IMAM.
However, I have two very uncomfortable points of view on this matter. I was called while in the village by one of my friends that there’s an article on KAIRO NEWS about SKIRMISH on IMAMSHIP which I authenticated. First, I never want this issue to be on social media for some many reasons and secondly I found it very childish for those opposing MR FOFANA’S versions of the story without countering it with facts.
Therefore, as a proud Lambai [Another name for Salikenni] Born this second uncomfortable point of view gave me more room to give eyewitness report, but I will choose to be anonymous on this issue as of now on social media to uphold to my first principle.
Firstly, there are two sides of any story and this issue is not an exception to that. However, from what I have read (post & comments) neither gave a clear picture of what did happen, happening and about to happen. Mr Fofana came close to in some aspect to the story, but he spoiled his report with an untrue story like “POOR SALIKENNIKAS SPONSOR ALH OMAR TO SAUDI.” I don’t know what your sources on this but I found it to be untrue. On the other hand, most of those who rubbish Mr Fofana’s report are supporters of ALH OMAR Ceesay who will never write a true report about this issue, because this should not even take place IF ALH OMAR CEESAY as a MUFTI of the Salikenni Village, entire BADIBOU, GAMBIA and EVEN SENEGAL unselfishly use his VAST KNOWLEDGE in Qur’an and Hadith and ruling of Islamic Jurisprudence to avoid IMAMSHIP conflict in the village he proclaimed his love and I used to believe that.
According to this Hadith ALH OMAR CEESAY should be the chosen one.
Ibn-Masud (RA) relates that Rasul-Ullah (SAW) said, “A person should become the Imam of the people who is the most “AQRA” amongst them. If all are equal, then the one who has the most knowledge of the Sunnah. If they are equal in knowledge of the Sunnah, then the one who made Hijrah (migration) first. If they are equal in regards to Hijrah then the most who is the oldest” (Ahmed, Muslim).
BUT ACCORDING TO THIS HADITH ALH OMAR CEESAY is disqualified.
Abdullah Bin Umar (RA) narrates that Rasul-Ullah (SAW) said, “Allah does NOT accept the prayer of a person who performs Imamship of people who don’t like him”.
This is because approximately 80 to 90 % of Salikenni don’t want Alh Omar to be the IMAM. The simple question most people asked is “why should we change the imam who have been leading for 20 years?”
NB: HARD FACT ALH OMAR WANTS TO BE AN IMAM, NOT DEPUTY IMAM.
Let’s break this down to have estimated figures by CLANS.
Touray Kunda 99% don’t like Alh Omar, they pray in their mosque if Alh Omar leads the Jummah prayer.
Dorr 99% don’t like Alh Omar.
Sanenjeereh 98% don’t like Alh Omar.
Chakunda 95% don’t Alh Omar.
Kolley Kunda 99% don’t Alh Omar.
Fatty Kunda 60% don’t like Alh Omar.
Kassama Kunda 90% don’t like Alh Omar.
Fatajo Kunda 90% don’t like Alh Omar
Ceesay Kunda 50% don’t which is on the balance side.
SOURCES: EYEWITNESS DURING THE EID PRAYER all the clans converged and everyone with a brain knows where a particular clan sided.
Now, to get to hard fact…… the mantle of Imamship in Salikenni was a conflict between the fathers of Current elders in CEESAY KUNDA… there is a rich history on this, but let currentised the situation.
The current IMAM ALH EBRIMA ILLO CEESAY was handling the mantle of Imam-ship for over two decades and during this period he developed a culture of humbleness and tolerances among the villagers.
Alh OMAR CEESAY the mufti of the village was one of the most honoured and respected scholar, elder, mediator and preacher in the Region (NBR) and beyond.
SAIKOU NYARRA CEESAY, an elder brother to ILLO CEESAY is the head of CEESAY KUNDA CLAN and is widely blamed for causing hypocrisy between ILLO CEESAY and ALH OMAR. He was warned about this during his swearing in ceremony to be the clan head by ALkalo of the Village ALH SAINEY KANTEH. Again after this current incident, I was present on the day of EID PRAYER when the POLICE came and ALKALO invited all the parties involved to his compound –“ALH OMAR was absent in this sitting” Alkalo categorically told the POLICE that SAIKOU NYARRA is behind all this hypocrisy.
NB: POLICE took the statement of ALKALO………. In case if you are interested, this is where politics came into play. “Waste of fuel, the report was branded incomplete and inaccurate by the Governor”.
EID PRAYER SERMON INCIDENT
Unlike Jummah prayer, Eid Prayer Sermon (KUTUB) is usually delivered after the PRAYER… If it’s JUMMAH prayer entire SALIKENNI will not pray FRIDAY prayer due to ungodly action by SIDIA CEESAY the son of Allah Omar, who unplug the mic and stood in front of STANDING IMAM surrounded by thousands of worshiper listen to one of the most blessed sermon of EID PRAYER and said “THIS SHOULD NOT HAPPEN HERE, MY FATHER IS SITTING AND HE IS NOT GIVING THE SERMON.”
It’s true that Alh. Omar used to deliver an EID PRAYER sermon with imam ILLO CEESAY, in past years… Not for past 35 years as one commenter proclaimed. It used to be the late ALFA LALO DARBOE who acted as deputy imam. If my memories serve me, he last delivered sermon in 2010.
MY STAND “AND WHO IS SIDIA CEESAY TO INTERRUPT THE SERMON? BECAUSE HIS FATHER WAS NOT CHOSEN, THIS IS NOT A FAMILY AFFAIR”.
On this every day ILLO CEESAY chose BABA BARROW to recite the Arabic text the role play by ALH OMAR in the past years. This anger, his son and his supporters.
ISSUE OF DEPUTY IMAM
Before this incident the issue of deputy imam was a police case, when late deputy imam Alfa lalo Darboe becomes weak and his frequency in the mosque was limited, SAIKOU NYARRA CEESAY told him he is taking deputy imam from him which make sense, but ask him whom he gave ALH OMAR (conflict report on unanimous decision) but whatever the case DARBOE KUNDA are entitle to be named as deputy imam and ILLO CEESAY as IMAM chose MODOU LAMIN DARBOE as his deputy imam… ALH OMAR has issued on DARBOE appointment (hard fact) QUOTE he said “HE IS AN UNBELIEVER”.
NOW WE HAVE ONE IMAM WITH TWO DEPUTIES.
Here is why politics came into play, and why every JAMMEH Regional representative is corrupt like him.
I will try to summarise this as an independent judge. What will you do if this type of case is brought to you? I will maintain one imam and choose different deputy imam from the village. Simple case close. Since the fight is around deputy imam.
GOVERNOR OF NORTH BANK REGION certainly has a different ruling.
Governor’s Verdict: “three of you will have a turn for leading FRIDAY PRAYER. IMAM ILLO CEESAY if you prayed 2 JUMMAH prayers let MODOU LAMIN DARBOE prayed 2 JUMMAH PRAYER and ALH OMAR CEESAY prayed 2 JUMMAH PRAYERS. Also give give a chance to lead some 5 daily prayers.”
THIS WAS A MISTAKE OUR FATHERS SHOULD HAVE NEVER ACCEPTED. BUT IT WAS RULED ON AND WE WILL LEAVE TO REGRET IT.
MR FOFANA mentions in his post that ALH OMAR is from semi-rich family…I will call it a rich family in Salikenni standard. At least, his brother Sidia SENEGAL is a rich man and he will use every pence to see ALH OMAR become IMAM to open the MOSQUE UNDER CONSTRUCTION in the village.
I have sources who said he bribed the GOVERNOR and I cannot doubt this story, because he used to be the first person in KEREWAN whenever the GOVERNOR calls for hearing.
Another reason why politics taking its part is that ALH OMAR is afflicted to PRO-POLITIC SUPREME ISLAMIC COUNCIL (SIC) who came to the village but failed horribly to rule the case. He (ALH OMAR) is now a regional representative at SIC, the position he had lobbied to overthrow ALFA SEEDY TOURAY who held the position for many years (since OUSTAS BANDING REGIME).
WHY IMAM ILLO CEESAY chose BABA BARROW TO DELIVER THE SERMON WITH HIM?
IMAM ILLO CEESAY is widely blamed by ALH OMAR CEESAY’s sons and supporters that their FATHER was intentionally left to deliver the EID SERMON, I hold the believe with 80 to 90% of the population think ILLO CEESAY did nothing wrong or new. ALH OMAR was given this role for honour and respect and that honour and respect is no more with majority of village. As a matter of fact if he is not chosen let his children be humble but instead they interrupted the prayer of the whole village. His son SIDIA CEESAY talked to him before he started interrupting the IMAM (I have video evidence). He could easily advise him not to interrupt the prayer.
BY THE WAY THE SERMON WAS DELIVERED ALH OMAR’S TEAM LEFT THE MOSQUE.
FIRST POLICE REPORT WAS DISHONOURED BY THE GOVERNOR WHO WAS ON EID BREAK BUT ASKED THE CASE TO BE REFERRED TO THE CHIEF. ALH OMAR SUPPORTER INSULTED THE ALKALO SAINEY KANTEH IN FRONT OF THE POLICE HEAD AND ALKALO OF NYABA KUNDA BUT NOTHING CAME OUT OF IT.
MEETING CANCELLED………… NO VERDICT REACHED……….. GOVERNOR IS ON THE BREAK AND HE WILL CERTAINLY RULE WRONGLY.
I wrote this piece not for any hatred or grudge against anyone, but for everyone LAMBAI CITIZENRY to have clue on what is going in our beloved village and for everyone to take any possible peaceful to end this unislamic practice.
And I rest my case by asking ALH OMAR CEESAY’S sons to beg their father to distance himself from IMAMSHIP and focus on his family and religion.
MAY ALLAH BLESS SALIKENNI AND ITS PEOPLE AND MAY HIS RULING COME SOONEST THAN LATER
“Indeed He is wisely of all judges”
There is no need to hustle to become an imam. Thus confusion is caused by greed for power and position. Salikenni will loose respect if you don’t put your house in order. Let there be peace.
Thank you very much the eyewitness to this crisis. You have clarified the mistake of mr Fofana in his narration of the story . The truth is that Yaya Jammeh’s politics is completely and totally behind this crisis. I think people of salikene shouldn’t allow politics of division and hatred by non Muslim leader like Yaya Jammeh to create division among the people who live together for generations and are all blood relatives . Yaya Jammeh is a foreigner in that part of the country because he has zero connection with the people. Alagie Omar Ceesay himself is not rich man but his brother is very rich man who has played a very significant role in the family wellbeing and has contributed immensely to his brother’s family. That said , I will encourage Lamin , Abdoulie, Ebrima and all his children to prevail on their dad and the rest of elders to bring peace and stability in the village. I heard great things about these children I named above . I would encourage them to work wth their dad to ensure peace in the village. Yaya Jammeh is a piece of shit which all of you know doesn’t worth to support or associate with .
Bax , stop your denial and hypocrisy that this case is not political motivated or connection. The eye witness said it has . I hope you withdrew your early statement that you believe it has no political connections or motivation. You have no idea what is going on in The Gambia because you sit in your little apartment in U.K. and watch BBC without having proper understanding of politics in The Gambia today . If you read my first posting , I indicated that Yaya Jammeh’s politics is behind this crisis and secondly Alagie Omar Ceesay himself is not a rich man but his brother is a very rich . All these points are very verified by the eye witness to this crisis. I know what I am talking about . As I said , I hope Lamin , Abdoulie and Ebrima , Saikou and all his children in The Gambia, uk and USA prevail on their dad to solve this crisis peacefully. People of salikene are one people. People of Baddibu and The Gambia are peaceful people. Sectarian politics and division is imported from cassamance where Jammeh has learned this deep rooted hatred and division because of his roots . When we take back our country, such politics of hatred and division will be thing of the past.
Stop the misrepresentation…Take your time to read and understand what others are saying, otherwise, you will continue to make a fool of yourself…
I didn’t say that the crisis has got no political connections …What I said is that it is NOT politically motivated .. Not to be “politically motivated” is not the same as not to be “politically connected ” or to have “political connections “..
In fact, in my first comment, I observed that the attitude of the regime towards its opponents in opposition can influence some of its supporters to do foolish things…an indication that the crisis could evolve and have political undertones, due to the nature of the society we live in.
I still defend Mr. Fofana for unearthing the unease haunting this once cohesive village. Now we are seeing more indepth eyewitness accounts and it all points to a subversive effort by the regime to sow seed of discord among the village people. People of Salikene origin must now take the bull by the horn and restore sanity in their village. Especially the diaspora Salikene people must use their leverage to come bear on the elders on the ground. Left alone these elders won’t know the grand plan devised to keep them at loggerheads purely for political reasons. As the author mentioned above, I think Alh. Omar must rescind the deputy Imamship (new ruling ordained by an unelected governor insensitive to the local customs) instead concentrate on other teaching roles in the community. If his services are to be required in future as an imam, let him make himself at the community’s disposal. Going ahead with this ordained ruling will set a catastrophic precedent for the village already reeling from the divisions brought about by the last alkaloship transfer. Most importantly there is no respect in getting a position by order, a position which in normal circumstances is a purely voluntary community service.
LAMBAI YOU ARE RIGHT? I HAVE READ ALL WHAT YOU HAVE WRITTEN AND IS WELL UNDERSTOOD. ALH OMAR BROTHER WENT TO KEREWAN AND BRIBE THE GOVERNOR FOR HIS BROTHER BEING THE IMAM .FA ILLO IS LEADING THE MOSQUE FOR TWO DECADES. AND HE HAS THE KNOWLEDGE, GOOD CHARACTER FRIENDLY, SO I Think it’s all about BUT YOU WANT To be AN IMAM Because My BROTHER IS HAVING MONEY. U WANT To BRING VIOLENCE IN OUR VILLAGE 90 percent of the 12 clans in the VILLAGE Are behind Fa ILLO, So as your BROTHER IS Having money so u want people to follow you. We will follow as it is. May God bless the people of Salikenni.
I formed the view that this crisis was not politically motivated, based on the information before us at the time…and the “eye witness” account has not changed anything for me, as far as my view on that is concerned.
If anything, it has simply added more weight to my conviction that the genesis of this conflict lies beyond our politics; most certainly, that of the 2nd Republic, under Yaya Jammeh and his divisive politics..
Quote the eyewitness : “Now, to get to hard fact…… the mantle of Imamship in Salikenni was a conflict between the fathers of Current elders in CEESAY KUNDA… there is a rich history on this, but let currentised the situation.”
Observation : Alh.Omar Sisay, from his picture here, appears to be closer to 80yrs than 70yrs, and if the crisis of Imamship in Salikeni was between their fathers, how can anyone blame 2nd Republic politics as the motivations…
Under current realities, politics, as an influencing factor, especially with the involvement of the Governor and SIC, cannot be completely ruled out, but the motivating factor (ie: the main reason(s)) is NOT politics, as is being claimed here by some…
And until I see information that contradicts these facts, my view will remain unchanged…