By Alagie Manneh
Despite the outrage that greeted remarks made by President Barrow at the opening of the NPP regional bureau in Bansang, the spokesperson of the NPP, information minister Lamin Queen Jammeh has come to the defense of the president, saying that his comments were “fitting”.
President Barrow stated in Bansang: “They are belittling our police, claiming that the country is sliding back to dictatorship, but if dictatorship were in this country, he [Ousainu Darboe] would not have said those things and go unpunished. The police would have found him there, arrested him, and thrown him into the prison. We want to tell him that if there was no democracy in this country, Kerr Fatou and Mengbekering platforms would not have existed in this country. All these radio stations making noise would not exist in this country.”
The comments generated public anger and backlash in some quarters with many accusing President Barrow of attempting to slide The Gambia back into dictatorship.
But Minister Jammeh, in his reaction, described the remarks as “fitting, and welcomed by the general public”.
He denied that the comments were designed to undermine The Gambia’s democracy.
“The words were very correct,” Minister Jammeh said. “They were quite fitting and in fact, a lot of people are saying democracy actually requires responsibility; that in order to establish a democratic system, people must take responsibility of what they say and what they do and it was from this perspective that a lot of people called me to say they are thanking and congratulating the president for the deliberation.”