Ousman Bah, Acting Governor of Central River Region (CRR) has exclusively spoken to The Alkamba Times on the prevailing inter-faith tensions that rocked Kerr Mot Ali village in the Upper Saloum District at the Gambia-Senegal border.
On Sunday, May 15, 2022, followers of the late Sering Ndigal Secka currently residing in Kerr Mot Ali Senegal allegedly set two compounds ablaze at Kerr Mot Ali in the Gambia belonging to the Alkalo and Imam.
Followers of Sering Ndigal Secka have since sought refuge on the opposite side of the border in Kerr Mot Ali-Senegal, where they spent thirteen years since their fallout with former President Yahya Jammeh over the newfound faith that banned faithful dubbed ‘Seckans’ from praying.
“We (regional authorities) have visited Kerr Mot Ali-Gambia, to assess the situation. The visit allowed us to engage the Marabout of the village among others in our efforts to gather first-hand information on the situation,” CRR Acting Governor, Ousman Bah disclosed.
He added: “Right now the situation is under control, we have both Gambian and Senegalese security forces stationed at the border to consolidate the peace. Presently we have put in place temporary measures that will restrict the movement of these two villagers from entering into the other side in a bid to maintain peace and order.”
According to him, few arrests have been made by law enforcement officials in a bid to get to the bottom of the saga, adding that regional authorities are doing everything possible to maintain stability, law, and order in the region as well as resolve the issue once and for all.
The acting Governor of CRR further disclosed that most of the people who came from other villages within the region to show solidarity with Kerr Mot Ali-Gambia have been dispersed, arguing that their continuous stay in the village can ignite tensions that the government is doing every effort to quell.
However, one Lamin Secka, a follower of Sering Ndigal Secka currently living in Kerr Mot Ali-Senegal said police are targeting their fellow disciples living in Gambian territories, namely Musa Mbye of Kenye Kenye, Abdou Mbye of Jagleh, Ali Narr and Omar Dai of Njogobeen, Ali Amie of Mbugu and Hali Kura of Kaur.
He accused the Gambia government of preventing their return to the country after three high court judgments, adding that recent tensions were a result of the frustration of their children who want to forcefully return to their homes where new settlers at Kerr Mot Ali-Gambia are occupying.
“When did it become a problem for a Gambian to return to his home where he holds all legal documents. The Gambia government has been denying our return because of our belief, it is only because of our faith and we are Gambians entitled to follow any religion of our choice,” Lamin Secka, a staunch disciple of Sering Ndigal Secka told TAT