By Omar Bah
The Minister of the Interior, Ebrima Mballow, has vowed that his ministry will exhaust all measures to crackdown on criminals.
Speaking in a The Standard in exclusive at his office recently, Minister Mballow said his ministry will not let criminals cause fear in the citizenry.
“And in doing this, we will not spare anyone. We have taken our stance to tell Gambians that if anyone offends the law, the law will take its course. We will continue to take issues with the process of the law. This is what we believe in now,” he said.
He said there is no government that can have sustainable development without peace and security.
“My ministry has strengthened both the night and day security patrols and I want Gambians to understand that security is not a project but a continuous process and my ministry will ensure that the security of this country is not compromised at all costs,” he added.
He encouraged business owners to provide their own private securities to take some part of the security responsibilities and as well endeavor to provide CCTV cameras, “Because the state security cannot be everywhere at all times.”
Asked why GDC supporters in Jimara were arrested and charged whiles no one was arraigned for the Busumbala and other incidences involving UDP and APRC supporters, Minister Mballow said: “Nobody was charged in the Busumbala incident because we thought that was not necessary because we were in the period of reconciliation.
“But for the GDC incident, what I always say is education and repression…When the Busumbala incident happened, we sensitised and educated people. In the process we thought people would learn lessons from there…But when the Jimara incident happened, we said we are not leaving any stone unturned. And whosoever is involved will be brought to book,” he warned.
He continued: “This is the process and stand we are taking….Election came and went peacefully. Why the need for post-election violence? So we thought it is necessary that business will no longer be as usual.”
On the exhumed bodies, Mr Mballow added: “People have to remember that the TRRC is coming and in the event that these bodies are exhumed and there are no forensics, physiological or DNA tests carried on them, what can we explain to the people?”
He said the families of the victims should exercise patience, “Consultations are underway with foreign experts and they have to bear with us because it is not easy with us.”
On the new found democracy, Mr Mballow said democracy should be guided by the rule of law, “Because being in a democratic state does not mean you can say anything you want to say or do anything you want to do…Democracy has to go with responsibilities.”
On his relationship with President Barrow’s second wife after a protracted rumor that it is because of his blood relations with Madame Barrow that’s what puts him high in the new government, Minister Mballow said: “It is left to Gambians to say yes I am related to Sarjo Mballow; that is fine. I appreciate it. But that was not the reason why I was appointed…Because I have all the requirements to be a minister.”
Mr Mballow said he served the gendarmerie from 1987 to 1992. “I was the youngest sergeant in the gendarmerie. I also served as an intelligent operator in Liberia during the war….After five years serving in the gendarmerie; I left to join the banking industry in 1992 up to 2017. I had a break when I was in the UK,” he concluded.