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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

‘I oppose gays but against killing them’

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Speaking in a Standard exclusive at his Serekunda family home yesterday, the first republican agriculture minister said: “Personally, I am against homosexuality. Nevertheless, why should I take it personally to kill someone who is brought to this world by God? I will leave them and when they die, God with deal with them for the actions.  How many of us are doing what the Qur’an or Bible teaches us to do? Why is parliament not passing laws to condemn those people to be killed? It is hypocritical and misguided!  Homosexuality is not the most important issue or priority for The Gambia. The most important issue is how to ensure that good food is accessible to all Gambians. How many Gambians can now buy a bag of rice, sugar and kilo of meats?”

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Mr Jallow made the comments in reaction to the recent passing of a bill on aggravated homosexuality, punishable by life imprisonment and APRC national mobiliser Yankuba Colley’s statement that gays deserve to die because they represent the extinction of the human race.

But the more liberal Mr Jallow countered: “Homosexuality is as old as human history itself. No country in the world can eradicate that. Despite all the prophets in the world, and holy books, mosques, churches, and synagogues in the world homosexuality still exists. Therefore, it is misguided and wrong for our National Assembly to go to parliament instead of abolishing laws that infringe on rights of Gambians and they criminalise homosexuality. We are even promoting it just by going to the parliament to denounce it because 90 percent of Gambians do not know what homosexuality is about. We are promoting it instead of diminishing it in The Gambia. Gambians in parliament should make sure that they serve the interest of their electorate. How many of those MPs even think about how many homosexuals are in their constituencies? Why are they interested in that?  That is why I am telling you that rubber-stamp parliament is misguided in its role as a watchdog. It should have told Jammeh that it was wrong to discuss it at the parliament.  We have more important pressing issues than homosexuality like agriculture, health, education and the Ebola menace that are affecting us directly. It is wrong and I have condemned it because we have no right to take lives of people that are God given. Parliament is here to make laws that will make life easier for Gambians and beneficial to anybody living within the confines of country rather talking about issues that affect only one percent of the population. They are insensitive, out of touch and not really representing the views and aspirations of the electorate that sent them to the parliament. 

‘Malta 80’

Asked about his view on the agreement to repatriate 80 illegal Gambian migrants in Malta, the APRC arch critic said:  “Honestly, I sympathise with those young people who have made all efforts to enter Europe to find greener pastures because they have lost hope in the leadership and government of this country, and they have lost hope in the future of this country. These young people have seen that for the past 20 years the government has not come out with any concrete policies and programme to enable young people be self-employed, or to have opportunity to live a decent and admirable live in their own country. I think it is the responsibility of this government to make sure their rights are protected anywhere they are, and it is not the business of this government to sign an agreement with other governments to repatriate Gambians who are in a foreign land without the support and consent of these youths.  They are there to pursue their dreams and determination for a better life that they could not have in their own country, so The Gambia should be ashamed of itself, not even the Gambia alone but Africa. I ashamed when head of states like President Jammeh can stand at the United Nations and blame the West for exodus of young people. Before the advent of Jammeh regime, young people do not take the back way because by then The Gambia had a good reputation and The Gambia was friendly to all countries.”

Meanwhile, Mr Jallow pointedly refused to comment on accusations by UDP youth leader Solo Sandeng that he is undermining the UDP.

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