By Omar Bah
President Adama Barrow has lost his cool when responding to criticisms leveled against him by a critic of his administration, Dr Ismaila Ceesay.
Dr Ceesay, a university lecturer in an interview with Freedom Newspaper, a Gambian online news site, said the Gambian leader has no idea about governance, describing him as “clueless”.
President Barrow, who visibly lost his cool, told journalists during a press conference at State House last Tuesday that he is a high school product, but his contribution to Gambia’s change to democratic rule is way more than Dr Ceesay’s.
“I do not want to talk about personalities, but Dr Ismaila Ceesay has been a critic… But I asked this question and I am still waiting for an answer… There was a president here for 22 years, the system was so bad that a lot of people had to leave this country to live in exile and lot of people lost their lives and a lot more were jailed. People were afraid to come out and challenge the system. When Ousainu Darboe was jailed, we opened up an application to advertise for the leadership position for highly educated people to apply and compete against Yahya Jammeh. You know how many applications we received? Only three. Where were these people?” he questioned.
Barrow said he came back from Europe to establish his own business and in that business he was living a very comfortable life and helping UDP’s activities.
“But there were intellectuals who were in the system…. and they folded their hands to become beggars and are innovative. They could not create anything for themselves. Yes, I was a high school graduate but I was able to create something for myself. I was able to create employment for Gambians and I was successful. I contributed more than Dr Ceesay as far as this change is concerned,” he stated. The Gambian leader said it is very easy for people to sit at a corner and criticize. “They want cheap popularity… But today, it is because we have been able to stand up against Yahya Jammeh until we are able to make the change that is why some of them have the platform to go and sit down at a corner and criticize,” the President said.
Turning to what he called our intellectuals, the President asked: “Where were they when we needed them? When I talk about this I become irritated, I lose my temper. Where was he Dr Ceesay?
It was difficult at the time. It was a matter of now or never. It was a matter of life and death… Now the platform is open for everybody, they can talk. But we are ready to defend this change. Where was Dr Ceesay during the struggle? It is unfortunate that we have people who are conniving to irritate people and they call themselves intellectuals.”
“If you are an intellectual create your own things. But one thing they cannot take from me, I am the one who made this change. Nobody will tell you I sponsor Adama Barrow, nobody,” he stressed.