The eminent Muslim leader from Senegal was in The Gambia to attend the annual “Gamo” of Kerr Ousman Jeng, celebrating the birth of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).
Meeting with Sereign Ababacarr Mbaye Sy Mansour, President Barrow acknowledged the need for leaders to receive good counsel, and pledged to continue to do his utmost in the execution of his duties as President.
The new Khalipha emphasised the importance of strengthening family ties, upholding religious values and hard work. He spoke of the hope which he said people have in President Barrow’s administration, and he prayed for the president to achieve his goals.
Serign Mbaye Sy Mansour said Gambians had been challenged for many years on strategies to overcome the difficulties they experienced, but Allah had intervened and directed the change, which brought President Barrow to lead them. The Khalipha expressed optimism for the continued warm and close relationship between President Barrow and President Macky Sall, which he said greatly reinforced ties between the two governments.
The Khalipha called on the Gambian leader to be accommodative of people who speak truth to power, and to know that as a leader, he should always listen to what his conscience tells him and what he is told. He stressed that leaders have responsibilities as they lead people who have different levels of commitment and kinds of character. He advised that President Barrow’s focus should be on the goal of leadership. He advised the president to stick to certain important values and principles: remaining modest, non-discriminatory and not degrading anyone. He emphasised that leadership goes with truthfulness, accountability, compassion and the ability to balance issues carefully.
The Khalipha called on everyone, including coalition members, to be truthful and to realise that there cannot be an easy fix for all the challenges that The Gambia faces because of the difficult circumstances that the government inherited. He called for peaceful co-existence, unity and solidarity for the nation to succeed.
Sereign Mbaye Sy reiterated the religious bond between The Gambia and Senegal and their people, and thanked everyone for the hospitality accorded to his delegation.
For his part, President Barrow expressed gratitude for the good advice and prayers that he received from the Khalipha. He took the opportunity to express condolences to the Sy family for the loss of the last Khalipha Al Amin and other members of the family.
President Barrow reassured the Khalipha of the continued peaceful co-existence between the two countries and their people. He said he and President Sall would be committed to the continuous strengthening of bilateral ties. The Gambian leader urged all to continue to “pray for peace and respect for our religious leaders, as no one person can have everything.” He said responsibilities have to be shared, and he commended Ambassador Salieu Ndiaye of Senegal, who accompanied the delegation to State House, for his tireless efforts to strengthen bilateral relations.
Also accompanying the Khalipha were Imam Ratib, Cherno Alieu Mass Kah, leader of the Tivaouane in Banjul , Imam Tafsir Gaye, and representatives of Ahlou Tivaaoune and family of Mam Ousman Jeng, initiator of the annual Gamo of the Tijani Talibehs in Banjul.
Issued by Mrs. Amie Bojang-Sissoho, Director of Press & Public Relations