Gambia: Man Ordered to Vacate Garawol After Leading Supposed Slave Class in Prayers

The Alkalo of Garawol has fined an Arabic school teacher twenty thousand dalasis for leading a congregational prayer on the Tobaski day for the Gambanaxu, a supposed slave class in their community.

Musa Tambadou, an Arabic school teacher led the Tobaski congregation for the Gambanaxu on Tobaski day. When Tambadou was informed about the fine by a six-man delegation sent by the Alkalo, he indicated to the Alkalo's informants that he won't pay the said sum because the action of the village head was unlawful.

Tambadou reported the matter to the Fatoto Police Station and the matter was subsequently transferred to Basse.

Police Commissioner for Basse, Ensa Badjie alias Jesus told the people to maintain law and order because the Arabic teacher did not do anything unlawful. Commissioner Badjie informed them that they should allow the teacher to continue to live in the village adding they cannot force him out of the village.

"After the messengers of the Alkalo told me about their decision that is either I pay the fine or leave the village, I told them I won't pay the fine and I will not also leave the village. They asked me to report to the Alkalo's compound, but I declined and this was when I proceeded to the police station and reported the matter," Tambadou told Foroyaa.

Tambadou told Foroyaa since the caste scuffle broke out in Garawol, all members of Gambanaxu including himself were banned from performing or attending any congregation prayers at the village central mosque and other public places within the village.

"This is why I led my people on Tobaski day because we are Muslims and we have the right to manifest our religion," he added.

Ebrima Ceesay , the son of the alkalo of Garawol who was also among the alkalo's delegation, when contacted confirmed to this reporter that they have fined Tambedu twenty thousand dalasis for leading the Tobaski congregation prayers different from the one held at the village central mosque.

"Yes it is true that we have fined Musa Tambadou D20,000 for leading Tobaski congregation prayers different from the one we held at the village central mosque. We fined him because his action was contrary to our village rules. Musa committed an offence and when he was called to answer to the alkalo, he refused to answer to the call," Ebrima Ceesay confirmed.

Police Commissioner Ensa Badjie has however summoned the two parties to a meeting.

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