By Mafugi Ceesay
In a rare kind comment about former president Yahya Jammeh’s rule, the Minority Leader in the National Assembly has admitted that safety of life and property was better under the dictator than now.
Speaking to The Standard yesterday, Samba Jallow, a fierce critic of Jammeh and member for Niamina Dankunku, said with all his inadequacies Jammeh never compromised the security of the nation. “In fact, the first thing he told President Barrow when he initially called him to concede defeat was he should never compromise security of the country and I think we should all reflect on that,” Hon Jallow said.
The Minority Leader further argued that the same security apparatus that kept the country safe under Jammeh are still handling security. “So, what is the problem? We should ask ourselves what is the problem because we have not changed any of our security apparatuses; the paramilitary, police, and the army are still here. Yet, after the change of government, we started seeing crime and insecurity happening,” he lamented.
“The Gambia is going through very strange times and seemingly not safe anymore. Imagine a situation when taxi drivers rape and assault clients with robbery and killing becoming the order of the day. Why? The current Interior Minister is among the best-trained officers in charge of security affairs under Jammeh. So why is it that with the same people on top of security affairs, things are different now? The Gambia cannot afford to have criminal gangs stationed in the bush,” Mr Jallow said.
The Minority Leader said President Adama Barrow should come out and speak to the Gambian people or organise state dialogue with the security services for a way forward.
“The government should take drastic measures by giving security the immunity, power and weapons to secure the country since there cannot be any peace without security. Our security people feel they are not protected and before one can protect others, he or she should have the confidence that he or she is protected,” he said.
Citizens and security
Mr Jallow further noted that he believes Gambians too played a part in frustrating the security by labeling them as perpetrators and all sorts of names. “This, coupled with the fear that they could face risks in the course of their work, have made them relax and now the country is feeling it hard.
“Remember it was the youths of this country who burnt down police chief Gorgui Mboob’s house in the course of his work. It is because of such things and the plight of the paramilitary officers involved in the Faraba incident that made members of the security forces to relax because if they do their job, they risk being indicted or face penalties,” Jallow said.
The Minority Leader said Gambians should change their attitude towards the members of security forces. “We are all are living witnesses to the way the youths handled the case of Gorgui Mboob who and his team handled criminals very well as opposed to what is happening now,” he said.