By Omar Bah
A social and political commentator, Pa Samba Jow, has issued a strong warning to President Barrow that the Gambian people will not allow him to be a tyrant like Jammeh, even if he tries.
Responding to the president’s threat against activist Madi Jobarteh, the US-based Gambian said: “To President Adama Barrow, you must understand that your attempt to emulate Jammeh and his tyranny will never be allowed. Your supporters will continue to have people whisper in your ears that ‘you need to be more assertive’ but you must understand that those are more interested in access to the halls of power, than your legacy. Lest we forget, the same crowd that applauded your threats against Madi, was the same one that not only applauded Jammeh’s 2012 threats to execute death row inmates, but went on to offer him religious cover in trying to justify his disdainful act of murdering nine people. Today, Jammeh is in exile and they have found a new patron in you to cheer,” Jow said.
Just like the 2012 executions, Jow added, President Barrow’s threats have also been heard around the world and no amount of spinning will change the facts.
“We will hold President Barrow accountable for anything that happens to Mr Madi Jobarteh because his threats have emboldened some of his most ardent supporters. Unlike Jammeh’s, which can be viewed as erratic, Barrow’s attacks are well calculated and coordinated,” he noted.
Mr Jow said President Barrow’s Eid threats resonate with Jammeh’s 2012 threat to execute nine death row inmates which he ended up doing.
“The same people who shouted ‘Allahu akbar’, applauded Barrow. Like all sycophants, they cannot help but agree with a president regardless of how callous he might be. Barrow’s supporters are busy defending his threats, and in fact saying that he needed to do it much earlier. They are however quick to suggest that the president’s utterances were not a threat, that he too has a right to free speech. If there is one thing in abundant supply in The Gambia it is sycophancy,” Jow said.
He said Barrow’s threats were coincidental with minister Musa Drammeh’s lawyer’s letter to Madi demanding an apology and retraction for an opinion and observations that he made about the government and ministry of lands. “One must be naive to believe that this was not a state sanctioned attempt to silence a critic.”
Jow said Madi’s only crime is challenging the government on their dealings.
“To the Gambian people, show me a thin-skinned vindictive ‘leader’ and I will show you a tyrant. And this is what President Barrow has exhibited each time valid criticisms are made about him and his government,” he stressed.
He congratulated the new cabinet and advised them to in the interest of what “binds us all, The Gambia, if you are unable to withstand criticisms from the governed, please do the reasonable thing and resign now. Your position is not a voluntary one. You’re handsomely remunerated, and we expect nothing but excellence.”