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Monday, October 2, 2023

Mai challenges Barrow to explain sacking

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By Omar Bah

The leader of the Gambia Moral Congress, Mai Fatty, has for the first time made a direct request to President Adama Barrow to tell Gambians why he removed him as Interior Minister.
Fatty was removed from the influential Interior Minister post last November without any explanation from the Office of the President, fueling speculations as to what had happened.
“This is people’s government; when a cabinet minister or any person of authority is removed from position people have the right to know. And I too want to know why I was sacked,” Fatty told The Standard in an exclusive interview yesterday.

He went on: “I received a letter that relieved me from my responsibility but the letter did not state why but I took note of what the president said in his press conference when he was asked about it. He said I was relieved in the interest of the nation. Well it is up to the president to say what national interest he was serving when he relieved me because I do not know. But I think the public has a right to know. So it is imperative for the president to tell Gambians what particular national interest was so necessary and fundamental that I had to be removed. I am still baffled and confused; I also believe I deserve an explanation.”
Fatty said when he first heard the President saying he removed him in the interest of the nation, he was confused and angry.

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He added that he is not happy with that vague statement and believed both him and the Gambian people need to know why.
“They said I stole money but which money? I am not an accounting officer. The Ministry of the Interior had no money when we came in and I was not involved in any situation where I can lay my hands on public funds and I am not involved in procurement either. They talked about Semlex but when I was there, Semlex was not awarded a contract; it was after I left. If it was because of Semlex I was removed, they would not have been awarded a contract,” Fatty said.


He went on to say that the best thing Barrow should have done to avoid public speculation is to deny Semlex a contract. “Because if he did that, people would say it is true Mai Fatty was trying to give them a contract so when he was removed they were denied contract.
“But now rightly or wrongly, people would continue to speculate. You remove Mai and go ahead to sign a contract with Semlex,” Fatty argued.

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Mai repeated his position that he is not aware of any wrongdoing during his tenure as minister that would warrant him to be relieved from responsibility.
Asked whether he would accept to work for the government if his services are needed, Fatty responded: “I never thought of getting back to government. I am thinking that Barrow would not want me back. If he does, it will be a big shock to me. The reason is, I was removed without any reason; so I do not think he would want me back. But maybe, if he is not proud, he may think along those lines.”

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