A respected religious leader thinks The Gambia’s magic bullet lies in nothing other than “change of mindset.”
“The Gambia is a blessed country where knowledge and talents are abound,” Momodou Ceesay, the visiting Resident United States Imam, told a congregation. “All Gambians need to develop their country and change lives is to change their mindset. Let’s love and respect each other’s rights and fulfill our duties to one another rather than hating and holding grudges against one another,” Imam Ceesay advised.
In his Friday sermon at Brufut Sanchaba Mosque where both President Adama Barrow, Vice President Ousainou Darboe and religious leaders prayed, Imam Ceesay urged Gambians to forster unity and respect cultural diversity.
“Allah has created different tribes so they can recognise and learn about one another’s diverse cultures,” he preached, exhorting Gambians to utilise the power of diversity and accept the fact that different ethnic groups formed their country.
Imam Ceesay also advised Gambians to respect and value their leaders. “Allah selected leaders for every nation to lead their people. But Allah wants people to respect and value their more than everything else. These leaders are also duty bound to address the plight of their subjects.”
Imam Ceesay wanted Gambians to give thanks and praise to Allah for letting them off dictatorship yoke. He said every Gambian has a stake in the business of national development. “Nobody can develop this country for us which is why we all have to play our individual contribution. We have all come to this earth for a mission and that we will all return to Allah someday. Let’s therefore give our very best to our country and her people before we return to Allah. Let’s remember that loving one’s country is part of Islamic faith.”
Imam Ceesay said Gambians should respect and economically empower their scholars and spiritual leaders. “Stop gifting them with white papers and candles. Respect them and Fill their pockets. You will not regret it becase these people service your marriages, naming ceremonies, settle disputes and even prepare you to meet Allah. By God, you will not reap any benefit from giving money to leaders from other countries and turn your back on your own people.
“Was it not our spiritual leaders who spent sleepless nights praying to Allah to protect bloodbath, shower blessings and peace in the country during the impasse? This is why these people must be respected and supported financially.”
Imam Ceesay also advised young Gambians to seek knowledge to help stimulate self and national development. “Seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim. No country can develop without an informed and knowledgeable citizenry.”
As part of activities honouring Imam Ceesay, a conference that focused on unity, peace and stability in the country, was organised. A total of three bulls were slaughtered to honour a religious leader who dedicates his life to preach and teach the word of God, counsel and inculcate good manners in people.