memri

December 22, 2017
Clip No.
6367

Khartoum Friday Sermon - Imam Muhammad Abu Obeida Hassan Slams President Al-Bashir: Better to Leave of Your Own Accord Than Die on the Throne

In a Friday sermon, Imam Muhammad Abu Obeida Hassan criticized calls to amend the Sudanese constitution in order to enable President Omar Al-Bashir to run for another term in office. Those who say that "the only alternative to Al-Bashir is Al-Bashir" are tyrant-makers, sycophants and hypocrites, he said. In the sermon, delivered at the Dohat Al-Iman Mosque in Khartoum on December 22, 2017, Imam Hassan said that his country was in need of a man "capable of delivering this country from its political and economic crisis, from the crisis of foreign debt, from the military crisis, and from racism, hatred, and moral decline." He advised Al-Bashir to step down of his own accord, "rather than to die on the throne, and be cursed by the people who suffer from poverty and hardship." Imam Hassan posted the sermon on his YouTube channel.

Muhammad Abu Obeida Hassan: "One parliamentarian said that we should amend the constitution in order to be able to crown Al-Bashir king for the rest of his life. Another said that the only alternative to Al-Bashir is Al-Bashir. A third said: 'The current constitution is nothing to us. All we care about is the honorable president.' A fourth man said that no man deserves to be president, so long as Al-Bashir is alive. They are all tyrant-makers.

[...]

"What is this nonsense? What is this sycophancy and hypocrisy? Enough with this sycophancy. Be quiet. It is better to shut up than to be a sycophant. They want to change the law and the constitution of this country, just so that one man can stay in power.

[...]

"Are the women of Sudan incapable of giving birth to a man capable of delivering this country from its political and economic crisis, from the crisis of foreign debt, from the military crisis, and from racism, hatred, and moral decline?

[...]

"Honorable president, prior to the previous elections, you promised that you would not run, yet you did. You ran in the elections and won another term in office. I say that these three terms are enough for you. Your quiver is out of arrows, and your bottle has run dry. Every year you make promises that are not fulfilled. You promise economic prosperity, and the economy keeps deteriorating. You promise a better life, but life only gets more difficult. You promise free medical care, but according to the 2018 budget of the Khartoum province, there will be a 100% increase in the cost of seeing doctors in government hospitals. You promise that the exchange rate of the dollar will go down, but there are reports that its customs exchange rate will jump from 6 to 18 Sudanese pounds at the beginning of 2018. The rate will be tripled in one go. These reports are not reassuring.

[...]

"Honorable President, you are always reminding the people of the favor you did them by saving them from standing in lines for bread. It is true that there are no longer lines for bread, but one has to go through much hardship to get bread today. Some people can only afford one piece of bread a day. There is bread, but they do not have the means to buy it. Honorable President, you are always reminding the people of the roads and bridges you have constructed, but most of these roads and bridges were constructed using loans that weigh heavy on the people. Besides, many of the people cannot afford to buy public transport tickets to be able to enjoy those paved roads. Honorable President, you are always reminding the people of the electricity from the Merowe Dam, which was also built through a loan that weighs heavy on the wretched people. The foreign loans increase on a daily basis. Everything that has been achieved comes from the resources of this country. It is not a gift from anyone. If there is prosperity, it means that the people's money has returned to them. Honorable President, under your rule, the stench of corruption has spread.

[...]

"Honorable President, you may have decorated this country with some buildings, but we want to see meaningful content. We want to see health, education, and prosperity. The poor want food. The teachers complain about their meager wages. The doctors complain about their insufficient training. The patients complain about the decline in hospital conditions. After all this, some people beat their drums and sound their trumpets, crying that there is no alternative to Al-Bashir but Al-Bashir. Honorable President, if you leave now, at the end of this term, and someone better comes along, people will credit you for making way for someone better. And if you are better than whoever succeeds you, people will remember you favorably and hope for the return of your days. Either way, it is better for you to give up the rule and leave on your own accord, with you honor intact and with the people's best wishes, rather than die on the throne and be cursed by the people who suffer from poverty and hardship."