By Omar Bah
The Chairperson of the Coalition media team in the West Coast Region, Essa Dampha has said that President Adama Barrow’s UK statement on LGBT was misunderstood.
Speaking to The Standard yesterday, Dampha said Barrow was just trying to say Gambia is not interested in issues of same-sex-marriage because LGBT is not a problem in the country as the West may think it is.
“But he was not trying to defuse the notion the West have about the former regime,” Dampha explained.
He said during the former regime the whole issue surrounding same-sex-marriage was blown out of proportion by the former president just to gain attention.
“The reality is that this government will continue to guaranty the rights and freedom of every Gambian but when it comes to gay issues, I do not think any genuine Gambian will come out on the streets and start advocating for gay rights,” he said.
Continuing his defence of the Gambian leader, Mr Dampha said the statement President Barrow read during his trip to UK was arguably the best statement he delivered in his foreign trips since he assumed office.
“Since the new government took office we have seen lot of demonstrations in the country by different groups demanding for their rights in the new Gambia. But we have not seen any group or activists demonstrating for gay rights…Maybe morally no Gambian would come out publicly to demand for gay rights. Because if you do your family or society will disown you,” he intimated.
Mr Dampha said if the Commonwealth has the goodwill for the Gambia they should help the country based on its needs.
“Because homosexuality is not our culture and it has never been our problem. If they want to help us we have serious issues facing the country like security and unemployment, or they could even reinstate the Commonwealth scholarships…That is what we expect from them and not to ask us to legalize same-sex-marriage,” he stated.
On the migration, Mr Dampha said the government has never sent immigration officers to Europe for them to facilitate the deportation of Gambians.
“The fact of the matter is that many of these deportees wrote their own asylum papers and most of them stated in their reasons to seek asylum papers that they have problem with Jammeh and now that Jammeh is no more, what do you expect? Or will they again say they have problems with Barrow? Let us call a spade a spade, the government has no hand in the deportation of Gambians. That is the decision of the countries they are,” he concluded.