By Madi Jobarteh
The Barrow Administration is neither a Mandinka nor UDP government. It is the Coalition government as it reflects all the constituent members of the Coalition. Any insinuation that it is anything else as perpetuated by clandestine APRC and Yaya Jammeh supporters must be debunked in the strongest terms possible. The Coalition government indeed reflects all the parties and ethnicities and gender of the Gambia and therefore to falsely claim it is dominated by one sector is false. The fact is that even the cabinet of Yaya Jammeh had a single ethnic group with the highest number of members yet it was never considered a Mandinka government. How therefore can we claim this government to be so?
Secondly, the removal of Yankuba Badgie and David Colley among others has nothing to do with tribe. It has everything to do with justice. In the first place the appointment and continued presence of these thugs was unconstitutional as they spent their entire tenure on abuse of power and destruction of the rights of Gambians. Thus anyone who concludes that the Coalition government is targeting a particular ethnic group by removing these criminals is an unfair and dishonest allegation intended to misinform and mislead the masses.
The case of Solo Sandeng is a genuine case and must be the first to address because it is the last such atrocious case of such enormous proportions. Thus before anything else, the Barrow Administration did well to handle this matter. Again we can see in that case that this government is not approaching it in any tribalist manner as the suspects include criminals from all the ethnic groups. The names of the nine suspects is a testimony to this fact: Yankuba Badgie, former Director General, Louis Gomez, former Deputy Director, Saikou Omar Jeng alias Sir Jeng, former Director of Operations, Haruna Suso, Yusupha Jammeh, Lamin Lang Sanyang, Tamba Masireh, Lamin Darboe and Baboucarr Sallah.
Hence APRC members should stop spewing the false information that this is a witch-hunt based on tribalism. We applaud Barrow for this urgent and right move.
Yes, the new government has taken steps, which potentially pose a constitutional crisis. But to therefore conclude that this government is therefore dictatorial is utterly false and APRC folks should face the truth and stop misinforming. Yaya Jammeh and APRC tortured, raped and killed Gambian sons and daughters and plundered our wealth with impunity. Let APRC remember that. Always.
We must bear in mind that the challenges Barrow faces are, in the first place problems created by Yaya Jammeh and APRC. If they did not tamper with our constitution, Barrow would not have faced these challenges. Hence in these turbulent times, we would see various missteps and mistakes, but this is nothing comparable to the deliberate and conscious abuse of power by Yaya Jammeh.
The good thing remains that in the Gambia of today, our people have the freedom to raise issues and concerns and criticize Barrow and his government without fear of arrest and torture. This was not the case with Yaya Jammeh. Hence to attempt to ridicule Barrow and vindicate Yaya Jammeh is completely and totally unfair, dishonest and misleading. There is no government that does not make mistakes and errors. But a good government always goes back to correct itself and acknowledge its faults. So far Barrow administration has shown that they are no different in that regard as can be seen how they are dealing with the VP issue. Thus let APRC shut up and support the country go through this turbulent time created by Yaya Jammeh and the APRC.
A Coalition government is not an easy animal to manage. The fact that Halifa Sallah is not in the Cabinet does not warrant any unnecessary and unfounded speculations. Halifa has a right to serve as a minister or not. He has said that Barrow desires the best position for him, hence there is nothing wrong with the Coalition. If Halifa decides to go to the National Assembly, it is still in the right direction for the Coalition. The Coalition must ensure that they control the National Assembly with the best sons and daughters of the country in order to create the best foundation for democracy and good governance for the Gambia. I therefore fully support Halifa and PDOIS for their decision.
While APRC has a right to criticize anything, yet they have no moral justification to criticize Barrow and the Coalition government. This is because any and every problem the new government faces is because of the obstacles that were placed before them by the APRC and Yaya Jammeh. Thus all that we expect APRC and Yaya Jammeh thugs to do is to support the process of democratization in the building of the New Gambia. But they must not be on the sidelines seeking to foment tribalism and incitement to violence against the new government and the country. That is unpatriotic.
Go on Chief Servant Adama Barrow!
God Bless The Gambia.