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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Minister vows foreign criminals will be dealt with

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By Omar Bah

Tourism Minister Hamat Bah has warned that foreigners taking advantage of the government’s peace and democratic nature to engage in criminality will be appropriately dealt with.

Police recently revealed that their statistics indicate that a substantial number of crimes in The Gambia are committed by foreign nationals.

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Addressing an NPP event celebrating President Adama Barrow’s Peace Award on Sunday at the Tallinding ‘Buffer Zone’, Mr Bah cautioned foreigners committing crimes in the country from “taking advantage” of the peaceful nature of the head of state and the people, adding anybody found engaging in vagabondage or brigandage, will be dealt with.

“If you think that President Barrow’s kindness or peacefulness can [be abused] by bringing instability or criminality to this country… attacking people and gunning them down, President Barrow will deal with you because he will never compromise the supreme interest of this country. If you are not from this country and you want to bring criminality here, the law will deal with you. All the foreigners who are committing crimes in this country should be very careful, or else Adama Barrow will deal with you mercilessly. If you doubt me, go and ask the Three Years Jotna pressure group,” he said.

He said foreign criminals coming to the country will be “wiped out” because “Barrow is a peaceful man, but he will never surrender the security of this country. We will get all the criminals, and they will be dealt with squarely.”

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“The message I want them to know is that Barrow’s peacefulness should not be interpreted to be anything but a man who believes in the rule of law. Yes, he respects the law, but he will protect this country and wherever you may come from, and no matter where you are hiding, the security forces will go after you,” Bah said.

Food prices

The Saloum political supremo and NRP leader urged Gambians to understand that the hike in prices is not affecting The Gambia alone. He advised those selling Gambian produce to be considerate of the plight of the Gambian people and avoid escalating their prices.

“We should not price local commodities higher than those we import,” he said.

Peace award

Commenting on President Barrow’s peace award, Minister Bah said Barrow’s leadership quality and peacefulness were recognised long ago by the likes of the Chinese president, Saudi king, and the late Queen Elizabeth of Britain.

“I recalled how these great leaders embraced him when I accompanied him to their countries. I remember them singling him out among several presidents around the world and requesting that he sit with them at the same table,” Bah said.

He said he has learned a lot from the president since 2021.

“I was a very difficult person to work with, but thanks to him, I have changed because he will always ask me to calm down when he realises I am tense. President Barrow is a peaceful man, and he is God-fearing. I remember after the last local government elections, I refused to eat lunch the following day because the governing coalition had performed badly, but he realised that I was bitter. He called me and said, ‘Why should you be bitter about God’s decision?’ He then asked me to believe in God and move on,” Hamat said. Minister Bah said Gambians should be proud of having President Barrow as their head of state.

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