Madi Jobarteh should take a chill pill

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By Facuru Sillah

Madi Jobarteh has just got what he wanted. That is attention. The president of the Republic shouldn’t have mentioned his name. Now he’s running away with his newfound popularity to express his worst fears even though there’s none in reality. The context in which the president mentioned Madi’s name is clear and harmless to his person and personality. Barrow said: “If the president of the republic must obey the law, an ordinary citizen like Madi must be equally law-abiding” (translated from Wolof). Where the president is invoking the law, why should Madi go about suggesting that his life is in danger? He wants to write to international bodies to notify them of the death threat that Barrow has made to him. There’s nothing in the conduct of Barrow that suggests that he can hurt a fly. He’s been tested for five years, and nothing is there to show that he will attempt to extra-judicially hurt anybody. Madi Jobarteh should take his chill pill and go to sleep. He’s been all over the place on a smear campaign to discredit Barrow and nothing has ever happened to him. He didn’t call Jammeh by his name while he was in town. I remember in 2016 when he made scathing remarks mentioning Jammeh’s name, somebody told me that he was all the way in Norway. A friend and I laughed at him knowing that he was always avoiding the dictator’s name all throughout his activism. It wasn’t surprising that he was out of town when he went as far as mentioning Jammeh. Now the coward can pose as a hero spewing high-sounding nothings in the name of holding the president to account. Madi is only a loud mouth but not much sense comes out of that mouth. I regret the fact that Barrow has given Madi the best Koriteh gift he could dream of. Libel and slander can be prosecuted. If anyone commits such misdemeanours, they should be brought to book. The people they lie against have their right to dignity, and they can fight for that right. Eid Mubarak.

Facuru Sillah, a former student activist, works at the Gambian embassy in France.