Monday, June 17, 2024

It’s Not about Money”: Gassama Explains Why He Rejects Offers for Hospital Construction in Old Yundum

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By: Dawda Baldeh

One Sheikh Seedy Mutarr Gassama, a resident of Old Yundum Constituency, impressed many yesterday, including Gambia’s President Adama Barrow, as he revealed that he rejected lavish offers and proposals that could have earned him millions of dalasis for a land he dedicated to hospital construction, which he also fully funded.

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The laying of the foundation stone for this project was presided over by President Barrow at a high-profile ceremony on Sunday, December 3rd, 2023.

“I am not constructing this hospital because I have enough money or don’t have other needs to settle. If it were about monetary gains, I would have sold this place long ago because I have rejected offers and proposals that would have earned me millions of dalasis. People have offered me different amounts of money for this place and other projects, but I rejected all. My intention has always been to build a hospital on this land for people. Everyone needs a hospital, and that is why I am now constructing it here. I am sponsoring the construction 100%. I don’t mind getting support, but with or without it, I will do what I can to fulfill my desire,” he told journalists briefly after the laying of the foundation stone.

Speaking passionately about this motive, Gassama added, “If you can afford breakfast, lunch, and dinner and you still have money in your pocket, you should support others, and that is what Islam teaches.” He reiterated that all the materials are readily available and kept in a safer place. Gassama noted that he has not involved anyone, but he will do all it takes to make the project successful.

The old man expressed hope that the construction of the hospital will be completed on time, and he wants the president to also preside over the inauguration. “Everyone will benefit from this hospital irrespective of their tribes, culture, religion, or political affiliation. That is why I named it ‘All Care Hospital,’ which is catering to all individuals,” he added.

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After presiding over the ceremony, President Barrow commended Mr. Gassama for the initiative, saying it will go a long way in complementing ongoing national efforts in making healthcare affordable and accessible for all. “This is how everyone should be thinking, not just to continue criticizing the government for everything. If we all think and work like Mr. Gassama, we can develop our country and make it look like America. This country belongs to all of us, and we are the ones who can develop it for ourselves,” he said.

Several other speakers, including Dr. Ahmed Lamin Samateh, the Minister of Health, applauded Mr. Gassama for the initiative and called on citizens to emulate his move in supporting the development of the country.

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