Banding unsure of SIC presidency
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Alhaji Banding Drammeh, the incumbent president of the Gambia Supreme Islamic Council (SIC), is unsure of his re-election for another term as the president of the country’s supreme Islamic body.
Alhaji Banding Drammeh’s statement came ahead of the forthcoming national congress, slated for August 16 to August 17.
Speaking in an interview with the Daily Observer, Mr Drammeh said he “wishes not to vie” for the presidency, after serving the council for a five-year term, but he was quick to add that he may take the position if offered by the general assembly at the congress.
“The council has not yet announced a presidential candidate. The general assembly will elect eligible candidates, who will be at the helm of the affairs of the council for another term,” he said.
According to Mr Drammeh, the fourth national congress, which will take place at the Doha Conference Hall of the new council building, will be attended by delegates from all the regions of the country. He said the two-day gathering will enable delegates to study various reports of the council, as well as elect a new executive.
He disclosed that the congress is expected to be attended by a score of dignitaries, notably the secretary of state for Local Government, Lands and Religious Affairs, Ismaila Sambou.
Commenting on their achievements, Mr Drammeh said his term has seen a massive transformation of the council, noting that the country’s Muslim body can now boast of independent headquarters, which comprise a standard conference hall, a mosque, as well as a training institute for Imams and scholars.
He noted that other major projects, such as the administrative building and a mosque are also being constructed, adding that the construction of a restaurant is also in the pipeline.
The resolving of disputes among various mosque committees across the country, as well as inter-religious crisis, are among other achievements registered by the council under his leadership, according to him.
Imam Drammeh used the opportunity to commend President Jammeh for his moral and financial support to the council and hailed the Amir of Qatar, the Kuwaiti Ministry of Endowment, and the Saudi Islamic Relief Services, for sponsoring the council’s headquarters project.
He also thanked the Gambian ambassadors such as Dr Mangum Ceesay, Ousman Badgie, and Mustapha Bojang, for their support towards the construction of the council’s headquarters.
He finally called on the Muslim Ummah to uphold the principles of Islam and unite to speak in one voice.
Author: by Hatab Fadera