By Mr Baboucarr Njie
I dare say that all progressive minds were stung by the statement of President Adama Barrow on Koriteh day telling the Gambian people that Mr Madi Jobateh a prominent Human and Civics Rights activist, is on a venture to put The Gambia on Fire because he criticizes his Government.
It is sad that a President who came to power through the blood, Pain and Sacrifices of Human and Civics Rights activists including Madi Jobateh can stoop down so low to make such a misleading accusation against a gallant son of this land who is only exercising his rights as a good citizen.
We all recall just a few weeks ago when President Barrow shocked the Gambian People with the nomination of Fabakary Tombong Jatta and Seedy Njie as Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly.
Both Fabakary and Seedy Njie are stern and royal supporters of former president Yahya Jammeh who murdered, brutalized, and oppressed Gambians for 22 years and the TRRC reports have recommended for Yahya Jammeh to be prosecuted for the crimes committed against the Gambian people.
We wish to inform Gambians that Madi Jobateh has dedicated his life to serve the Gambian People, he spends his time, energy and resources to be a good and responsible citizen, he studied every Audit Report say during the past 15 years, and regularly scrutinizes Public Institutions and Officials, therefore any President who is wise, honest and dedicated to serve his/her people would engage the likes of Madi to help him/her better understand the Audited Reports of his/her Government and what Public Institutions and Officials are doing in the name of the Citizenry.
We suspect that the President may be challenged in reading or understanding Madi Jobateh’s articles or interviews as they are numerous and covers every subject matter that affects Human Beings not only in the Gambia but the World Over.
Among the issues recently raised by Madi and many other Gambians are the questionable allocation of land to Ministers and other senior Government Officials, the shocking nomination of dictator Jammeh’s supporters and loyalists like Fabakary Tombong Jatta and Seedy Njie, and the Irregularities in the Report of the National Audit Office.
All these are matters of interest to the Gambian people where many Gambians have expressed their dismay and dissatisfaction.
Mr President. There are several Audit Reports that highlighted the lack of adherence to financial regulations and guidelines, there are massive irregularities in financial transactions, irregularities in the granting of contracts and the purchases of goods and services, involving millions and millions of public funds. Most of these irregularities could therefore border on corruption or corrupt practices.
Mr President, in your own words You have said that Corruption could not be eliminated but could be “reduced”, please note that The Gambian people want corruption to be eliminated in this country and as long as corruption exists, many Gambians and people like Madi Jobateh will continue to expose corruption wherever and whenever it happens.
Mr President, we regard your statement as a threat to Madi Jobateh who is a valuable son of this Country. It is easy to understand that any person who holds Public office with the intention to serve his/her people will never be averse to criticism or scrutiny, but those who come ONLY to serve themselves, their friends, and family will always be afraid of criticism and scrutiny, and this is what happened during the 22 years of Yahya Jammeh’s brutal dictatorship.
In a Foroyaa article dated 4th April 2017 Gambians were warned that Dictatorship could slide back into the Gambia if Government is not properly directed and I dare add if Government is not properly Accountable.
Mr President, we suspect that your alliance with the former royalist and supporters of Yahya Jammeh has provided you with the Dictator’s Handbook from which you are now reading from.
The fact that you have allied yourself with those who swore that you will Never be inaugurated and those who still believe that the 2016 elections was rigged is heartbreaking and a betrayal that has no place in our values as Gambians.
Mr President, even if you build golden roads and bridges, Gambians have the right and duty to scrutinize and criticize your Government if there is any suspicion or belief of corruption, poor governance or lack of Accountability, these are rights and duties of every citizen and you can Never take that from Gambians.
It is dishonourable for any President to distort facts and misrepresent the truth in any Country. In a Republic, No Leader should Have A “Mansa” mentality.
Please note that Dictators try to brainwash the minds of vulnerable people, dictators try to control the flow of information, Dictators then use force to subjugate the people, Dictators then size their Rights and Freedoms and then Plunder the National Wealth and Resources.
We, therefore, call our fellow Gambians to remember that we came a long way to gain our freedom from an evil and brutal dictatorship, we believe that many Gambians are ready to Sacrifice and Defend our democracy, justice, the rule of law, accountability, and good Governance. We said NEVER AGAIN and NEVER AGAIN Shall we Allow Dictatorship in our Dear Gambia.
In the Interest of The Gambia I am.
Pa Baboucarr Njie
Board Member Gambia Center for Victims of Human Rights Violations