Respected cleric Sheikh Chebo Cham has warned that former President Yahya Jammeh has a large support base and touching that would throw the country into conflict.
In a huge sermon this past Friday, the imam said: “You’re shouting human rights and destroying your country. If conflict erupts here, the West will sit and watch us. And there is only because of one man… [Everyone saying] ‘Jammeh, Jammeh, Jammeh’. Why can’t you observe carefully and do what is best for us? I am not saying government should not take a step in Jammeh’s issue but this is not the right time. Why? His support base is large. If you touch that, you will destabilize the country.
“You should be careful. Leave the issue until things calm. There are things we should be focused on. But if you follow these people who are only interested in the dalasi, they will destabilize our country. Billahi Wallahi if you take Jammeh to court and Jammeh raises his hand and asks who would like to be his lawyer, you will see one of these lawyers go to him and say he will be his lawyer. Because of the dalasi (money).
“We have seen countries whose president committed crimes that the whole world recommended was criminal and they ended up becoming their lawyers. Now they’re coming to us and telling us things. They want to instigate bad blood between us.
“You say imams should not interfere in state matters. You’re not speaking the truth. Are we not part of the country? Are we not citizens? Are we not the people who read the Quran and the prophet’s sunnah? Are we not the people who studied how Omar ruled? And you say we should not talk? We’re deceiving each other.
“You can have your seat (presidency), we will never seek it. But you should involve scholars on how to govern the country. They are the people who can tell you how God wants it to be done. I swear by Allah it’s the interest of the nation that made me say this.”