He's becoming increasingly popular among voters in Banjul, Kanifing Municipality and West Coast Region, but Essa Faal's comments against Imam Abdoulie Fatty and Zakir Naik is coming back to haunt him.
The former lead counsel at the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) is the country's newest presidential hopeful. He announced his candidacy in the December 4 election last month and promised to transform the country.
But his remarks against some Islamic scholars during Imam Aboudlie Fatty's appearance before him at the TRRC earlier might cost him some votes.
"People like Zakir Naik are the people who bring fitna in society. And that is why we should avoid Islamic fundamentalism," he said.
Imam Fatty responded: "The Ahmadiyyas are here, you didn't ban them. You didn't stop their fundamentalism. So you think it's Zakir Naik who will bring fitna here?"
Some of Imam Fatty's"talibehs" argued that "the greatest mistake and regret the Muslim Ummah of The Gambia will do is voting for Essa, who claimed that our scholars came with their new version of Islam."
They alleged that the presidential hopeful works for the "kufur (non-believers).