Essa Mbye Faal, a Gambian lawyer has emphasized the importance of religious tolerance and economic measures.
In his address to the nation on the occasion of Ramadan Eid, he emphasized the importance of religious tolerance and measures to alleviate economic hardship in the country.
Speaking to members of the Islamic Ummah, the lawyer extended Eid Mubarak greetings and prayed for peace and solidarity among all peoples. He also highlighted the significance of Koriteh, a day of celebration and joy for Muslims, especially for those who have fasted during the month of Ramadan.
However, he also expressed his disapproval at the recent alleged attacks on two churches in Bakau and Talinding during the Christian fasting period. He stressed the importance of religious tolerance and called for the implementation of TRRC recommendations, the passing of the law on the National Peace Council, and the establishment of an inter-faith committee to address such issues.
Likewise, he expressed his concern over the economic hardships afflicting Gambians, exacerbated by the unbridled increases in prices of basic commodities. While acknowledging that the whole world is suffering from this terrible situation, he urged the government to take effective measures to reduce the cost of living for the people.
Faal applauded the government for identifying the important policy initiative of sponsoring private businessmen to import certain basic commodities to crash the prices but stated that the initiative did not prove effective. He called for the government to abandon the culture of “yekalanteh” and patronage and implement a system based on merit, competence, and efficiency.
Furthermore, Faal urged the government to consider adopting targeted price reduction measures, such as tariff reduction for imports of basic commodities, and spearhead massive investments in domestic production of such goods. He cited Senegal as an example of a country that has made great strides in food production and conquered the conundrum of poultry production that has continued to haunt Gambia.