Senegal President visits powerful Muslim leaders

Supporters of Macky Sall celebrate victory at the their campaign headquarters in Dakar March 25, 2012. FILE | AFRICA REVIEW 

Senegal’s newly elected President Macky Sall' has assured the country’s Muslim fraternity that he will do no lesser than his predecessor in every aspect of the national development agenda.

“I come here today in my capacity as head of state to thank you for your prayers and those of other religious leaders that helped to obtain a peaceful electoral process in this country,” Mr Sall said.

President Sall made the statements on Saturday evening during his first official visit to Mbacké-Kadior, the religious town of the Khalif general of the powerful Muslim Mouride fraternity.

During their half hour discussions, the newly elected leader thanked the Khalif general of the Mourides Cheikh Sidi Moctar Mbacké, for his neutrality in the electoral process, the national broadcaster said Saturday night.

It can be recalled that the Khalif refused to declare the ‘ndiguel’ or imperative order to the millions of his followers to vote in favor of ex-President Wade who consistently pleaded for it.

President Sall assured the spiritual leaders that he would pursue all of the infrastructural developments initiated by ex-president Abdoulaye Wade in all the Islamic towns and cities across the country.

Projects

Since the beginning of his second mandate in 2007, the former leader had launched a high scale infrastructural development including the construction of roads, hospitals, schools as well as agricultural projects in and around several religious towns and cities.

Responding, the Khalif also thanked President Sall for being the first to heed to his call for tolerance and restraint during the tense electoral period.

He however urged President Sall to always remember that his predecessor was his father and that the he was the one that first brought him (Sall) to the Mouride headquarters (Touba).

The Khalif recalled that ex-president Wade was the only of the three former presidents that pledged full allegiance to the Mouride fraternity and to its founder Cheikh Amadou Bamba and urged Sall to contemplate on emulating his example.

The Mouride fraternity allegedly accounts for more than half of the country’s 13 million population and many of its followers are rich businesspeople living at home and in the diaspora.

 The fraternity attracts millions of followers from across the globe on pilgrimage each year at Touba and has a significant influence on the socio-economic and political life of the country.

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