By Omar Bah
Businessman-cum-politician, Pa Njie ‘Girigara’ has directed scathing criticism at the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) accusing it of being biased, hypocritical and divisive.
In a statement released over the weekend, the commission said President Barrow’s recent comments, in which he described the UDP as the biggest threat to national security; threats to order the re-arrest of individuals alleged to have committed offences even when granted bail by the courts; and lashing out against sections of the media, have the potential to undermine the country’s democratic progress.
But reacting to the NHRC statement in an audio shared with The Standard, Mr Njie a supporter of the president and his party stated:
“Every country has an opposition that should be respected, but respect is reciprocal. If the government gives you respect, you should return the same respect to it. That is the only way we can develop this country. No country will condone an opposition that only knows how to insult and criticise. Where were you [NHRC] for the past years and most recently when they [UDP] were insulting the president, his parents, wives, supporters, and their parents? Emmanuel Joof and your organisation, where were you?” he asked.
Njie said the very fact that the NHRC ignored all the UDP’s insults only for them to react to the president’s statement was incomprehensible.
“So, because he came out to say he would deal with anyone who insulted him, you open your mouths and pick up your pens to defend the insulters. What kind of organisation are you? You see, it is people who make a person change his attitude. Nobody has ever heard President Barrow insult. How many times has Ousainu Darboe come out in public to insult President Barrow, calling him all sorts of names? Did you come out to say the opposition should be responsible and stop being uncivilised? Is the UDP the only opposition in this country? Where is the PDOIS and its leadership and militants? Where is GDC? Have you heard them insulting? Where is PPP? Have you heard them insulting?
“But just because the president has decided to respond to the UDP, you pick up your pens and defend the UDP. You will find us here. You don’t own this country, and you don’t know what is happening in this country or around the world. You think if you come out and talk, people will be scared to let UDP insult people. Let them do it and see. This hypocrisy should stop. If you are UDP, just come out and declare it so that the government will ban you once and for all,” Njie added.
He said the president’s call for the arrest of any media owner or to close any media house that is used to insult him or any Gambian is justifiable.
“He will do it, and we will wait and see what you will do about it. If you think the president doesn’t have supporters, you are fooling yourself. The government is not saying they will descend on the UDP, but those who insult, those who are less than 10 percent of the party’s supporters, including Ousainu Darboe. Tell me whether you will appreciate people insulting your parents every day. The Gambia belongs to all of us. It is Gambians who decide who should lead them,” he noted.
Njie said Darboe should advise his supporters to stop insulting the president and innocent Gambians, or else they would be dealt with.
He advised the president to focus on his development trajectory and prepare for the next presidential election.