Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Banjul Mullahs suddenly see the need for Sene-Gambian relations

Senegambian border closure has suddenly attracted the attention of the Banjul Mullahs, this time, led by Imam Ratib of Banjul, for the need to strengthen the ties between the two countries.

At funerals, the Mullahs are increasingly preaching about the virtues of good neighborliness and the need to further cement the historic ties between Senegal and The Gambia - a commendable effort, albeit a hypocritical one at that.

The hypocrisy displayed by these so-called religious leaders is brazenly distasteful because staying silent and aloof when the Gambian dictator was unilaterally slapping a 1,000% tariff increase on Senegalese trucks using the TransGambia highway only to plead for mercy after the fact is disingenuous.

For Gambians in general and Senegalese in particular to take the Mullahs seriously, they must start speaking truth to power.  These religious leaders have become political at the expense of their individual and collective religiosity.

These Mullahs, like many other Gambian "leaders", have been compromised and co-opted by the dictatorship to advance the interest of Jammeh who uses the carrot and the stick to bring them in line.  They are, therefore, extremely cautious in their dealing s with Jammeh and are thus likely to look the other way when ever Jammeh misbehave.  No one dares advise him that the tariff increase was a bad idea.

The Senegalese religious and political classes are aware of the fact that the Banjul Muslim Elders have been compromised, and as long as Jammeh continues to hold sway over them, any pleading eminating from them will fall on deaf Senegalese ears.

A source described a scene at a recent funeral service in Banjul which aptly sums up the mood in Banjul among the Mullahs when he observed that "at the FIRDAW, the Imam had nothing to talk about except the closeness of the two countries.  Likewise, at the home after the funeral, all the talk was about the two countries.  Panic is setting in", he concludes.