By Omar Bah
For the first time in his one-year regime, President Adama Barrow seems to have taken a go at his critics.
Addressing a meeting of Gambians in Turkey during his visit, the President said it is very common now to find a whole space filled with ideas and criticisms.
He took issues with some critics, asking where they were when Jammeh refused to step down.
“Everybody is beating his/her chest to show that he/she has done this and that to defeat Jammeh. Today many people are saying they would not accept this and that or another Yahya Jammeh. But we should ask ourselves whether we are equal in that victory,” he said.
President Barrow said when the going was tough and the Coalition team was challenging Jammeh, many who are shouting now were silent.
He said when Jammeh refused the election results, it was only the Coalition members that immediately condemned and issued a statement to respond to Jammeh.
“Although we appreciated a lot of goodwill from many who supported our stand, some who are talking today were nowhere to be seen. I believe the same people should have come out that day and tell Jammeh what he said was not right; that he should step down.
“The civic society organisations should have spoken out that day but I have not heard anyone saying anything but today there is too much talk,” he said.
Barrow added that before the formation of the coalition, “our people were arrested and our colleague was killed. For three months we were going up and down battling with the case. Even if we go to Mile 2 to see Ousainou Darboe we will be flanked by NIA officers just for them to recognise us.
On the 9th May we spent nearly one million in an attempt to mobilise a huge number of people to protest but we could not even have more than one thousand people. Some people came all the way from the provinces to come and join but those in the Kombos and Banjul who were just within walking distances were nowhere to be seen,” Barrow said.
The President however said he understands from a wise saying that “victory can offer many fathers but defeat is an orphan.”
He recalled a meeting at executive level where it was intended that the UDP should recruit young intellectuals but they could not succeed because nobody wanted to associate his/herself with the UDP at that material time.
“But today we have lot of lawyers and doctors with us…..Where were they then?” he quizzed.
The Gambian leader further stressed that the Coalition members were able to achieve success because they were united.
“We were strong because we were united. Let us continue that spirit of unity, which is the only thing that can take us forward.
“The IMF, UN and EU can always help but the responsibility always resides with the Gambian people,” he concluded.