By Amadou Jadama
Sheikh Alhaji Momodou Lamin Jabbi, the Imam of Foni Besse has said that The Gambia does not need an army, saying that marabouts are the national army.
Asked to explain his strange claims in an exclusive interview at his residence, Imam Jabbi responded: “There is no need for an army in The Gambia; only the police are okay for the country. You see, this country has been sustained and continues to be sustained by the prayers of marabouts.”
Imam Jabbi further opined that what had happened in 1981, a violent coup attempt with hundreds of deaths, will never be repeated in The Gambia because enough charity has been performed to prevent it in The Gambia.
“The Gambia will never encounter any form of violence any more and I guarantee that,” he emphasized, “so we don’t need the military, we the marabouts both day and night are praying for the peace and stability in the country. There could be petty talks but there will never be any fighting in this country and a peaceful solution will always prevail for any difficulties,” he said.
The Besse Imam said former President Jawara can corroborate that after the attempted coup of 1981, there was a wide consultation with the country’s marabout houses and elders who prayed and performed the necessary charities for guaranteed peace in The Gambia.
The Imam said the evidence of all these can be found in the many near violent incidents that happened after the 1981 coup all of which failed only because prayers preceded them.
“I have never met Jammeh though I heard he often talked about me at his meetings. He stayed in power that long because of prayers and he made a peaceful exit again because of prayers. Anything you start with violence in this country will not succeed because of the prayers of the marabouts,” he said.
Turning to President Barrow, Imam Jabbi went on: “I have never met him since he came to power but I hear he listens and he seems to be very calm and never in a rush. I can assure him that all elders and marabouts are praying for him to rule in peace and we are doing that without any expectation of payment, but for the interest of the country.”