Mr. Mbai,

It has been a longstanding practice since the colonial period for Muslim elders in the Gambia to pay a courtesy call on the head of State at State House immediately after the Eid prayers to ask for forgiveness from each other and pray for peace and the leadership of the country. The event is always broadcast live over the national radio and television. 

The deposed president had been using this forum to make some outrageous pronouncements in the past such as the the introduction of the death penalty in 2009, the imposition of stiff penalties to businessmen for responsible for the skyrocketing of prices of basic commodities, ordering the security forces to arrest Muslims who prayed on the days he did not authorize to pray in the Greater Banjul Area and not to mention his proclamation to make the Gambia an Islamic Republic which received strong support from the religious leaders in 2016.

With Jammeh now gone, it would be interesting to see how President Barrow would be received by the same elders known to have been ardent supporters of the exiled president whose magnanimity for dishing out huge packets of brand new notes had always been the subject of remarkable appreciation and sycophantic praises from these so-called men of God.

Since the renovation works at the state house is still in progress, holding the annual meeting in Fajara and not at the state house in Banjul will be a great departure from atradition that is more than 50 years old. President Barrow should do everything possible to hold the 2017 Eid meeting at state house in Banjul and not at Fajara.  This is one of the most important calendar of the presidency and we are anxiously looking forward to hearing any new proclamations from his government especially how to fix the perennial electricity blackouts across the country. One thing is certain though, there are no moon sighting controversies this year.

From: A Concerned Banjul Resident 

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