By Omar Bah
The secretary general of the Gambia Action Party has called on President Adama Barrow to immediately call for a national dialogue with the Three Years Jotna Movement.
“If there is anything that we the leaders should recommend and realize in this political situation now is a national dialogue that will positively influence our path to greatness. Otherwise, we could trek in a situation that will shatter our dreams,” Musa Yali Batchilly told The Standard yesterday.
In an apparent attempt to coach Barrow, Batchilly reminded the Gambian leader that “leaders must be effective and vibrant during an unprecedented period when the subjects are fearful of what the future holds for them.”
“We must not be silent and become cowards on issues that matter so much to our people and never shall we fold our arms to permit an era we all fought through the past decades. Leadership is always accompanied with responsibility and assertiveness backed by the rule of law,” Batchilly added.
He continued: “Whatever the situation we found ourselves in, we must all ensure that dialogue is prioritized ahead of the rest and power on both ends should be guided to avoid abuse of power that usually abruptly ends in violence.”
“We crave for peace and prosperity that will give us chances to develop our beloved country and equally urge the government under President Barrow’s leadership to call for a national dialogue and drop all the charges on the arrestees until thorough and independent investigation is carried out before levying serious allegations on the peaceful demonstrators,” he noted.
Batchilly added that “a nation cannot be democratic in the absence of freedom of speech, expression and peaceful assembly as well as press freedom. A responsible government must not run away from responsibilities or pretends that they do not exist and it takes our collective consciousness to protect our people from all kinds of tragedy.”
He said the link between the people in a democratic society is information. “The government should resume the stations that were stopped from operating as freedom of information act is enshrined in our national constitution and try within their means not to assault any media personnel.”
“On December 1st, 2016 when many people thought that our better days are gone, we proved them wrong in all the possible ways. We were bounded by commonalities, love of hope and pursuit of happiness. We urge the entire nation to restrain themselves from any unlawful act that will further enhance threats to our newly found democracy. However, we believe that similar things will sail our nation from this trying time,” he added.