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Barrow says criticism must be genuine

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By Omar Bah

President Adama Barrow has said his administration does not have any issue with opposition parties criticising the government, but the criticisms should be genuine and constructive.

The president stated this in response to comments by UDP’s Alhagie Darboe at Monday’s national dialogue. He urged Barrow to desist from making undesirable comments against his party leader Ousainu Darboe at state functions “in the interest of peace”.

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The president said his administration welcomes criticisms, but they have to be genuine and constructive.

“We are always happy when we are criticised because it helps us in running this country, especially when it comes to discussing issues about the country and when drafting policies to make The Gambia a better country for all of us,” he said.

However, he added: “Politics is a game, but it is a game to move your community or society forward. When we are criticising, let us make genuine criticism of the government. That criticism can make a huge difference for our people,” he stated.

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He reminded the opposition that the country belongs to Gambians, irrespective of tribe or religious beliefs.

Also speaking at the national dialogue, the YMCA chairman and member of the national preparatory committee, John Charles Njie, said: “The Smiling Coast has lost its pleasant smile, for our land cries out as innocent blood has been shed; our women die in labour; we bash and malign each other because of our diversity; our young people continue to lose hope and embark on suicidal journeys in the name of searching for greener pastures; women are treated unfairly by us the men; rape and other crimes plague us; and victims of past human rights violations still have their tears.”

He added that the opposition and government should see each other as partners for national progress.

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