By: Muhammed Lamin Drammeh
The President of The Gambia, Adama Barrow, has declared that his government will not tolerate verbal abuse in the guise of democracy, and he has promised to direct the Inspector General of Police to detain anyone who seeks to provoke violence in the country in the name of democracy and gather them in a single location.
The president was speaking at a meeting with his party supporters in Niani.
President Barrow spoke out against unnecessary remarks and statements that could incite violence. He promised to take action by instructing the police chief to crack down on anyone who uses freedom of speech as an excuse to promote violence in the name of democracy. Regardless of whether he is popular or unpopular as a president, Barrow emphasized that peace must prevail in the country.
“Whether you appreciate President Barrow or not, peace will prevail here. Your hate for President Barrow does not mean that you should be insulting those working under his government. We are not going to accept that. I will talk to the Inspector General of Police to clamp down on those who want to incite violence and keep them in one place. We want development and that is what we are working towards,” President Barrow told supporters.
Gambians were denied their fundamental rights to freedom of speech during the regime of former President Yahya Jammeh, who is classified by many as a dictator. However, since the change of government in December 2016, many Gambians now have the opportunity to speak their minds about issues in the country.
However, President Barrow has said that is getting out of hand and that unnecessary statements are too much.
“…but the democracy is now getting out of hand. Now, the way it works will be changed. Unnecessary statements are too much; words meant to incite violence are too much and that is over now,” he remarked, which was greeted with a lousy applause from the audience.
While addressing the issue of democracy, Barrow explained his government’s commitment to working and delivering goods to Gambians.