By Omar Wally By Omar Wally Essa Bokar Sey, a former Gambian diplomat and top security official has said that contrary to comments from critics, The Gambia’s only neighbour Senegal has no influence over President Adama Barrow, arguing that Senegal is also not micro-managing Gambia. Speaking to The Standard, Mr Sey said: “As as far as I know, President Barrow is independent and I am very serious about that.” Sey who served as ambassador under Jammeh his roommate in the defunct national Gendarme, said Barrow can succeed with the right team around him in all areas as a leader. He also dismissed as rubbish, allegations from some quarters that he may be an agent of Senegalese intelligence. “Gambians are very good at assumption and making pronouncements publicly. I once even confronted somebody who accused me of similar things though for a different country. He said since I was training people at my former workplace in that country, so I may have access to top class security information. I agreed I could have been privileged in my work but that does not make me an agent,” he said. Mr Sey said Gambians must stop blaming politicians, be it the president, ministers, army or police. Asked about criticisms that he had turned to be a critic of the new government until he was given a job, Sey said he never for once unilaterally criticised the new government. “Essa Bokar Sey can be judged by his writings and videos. I never unilaterally got up to criticise the new government. They take the job thing too big. Maybe one day if they provoke some of us, we tell them how much we used to earn and how much I’m earning privately compared to what I’m earning at OIC, and perhaps they will keep quiet,” he said. On the current security reform project, Mr Sey said being a police or army officer in a dictator is much easier than in a democracy. “Dictatorship is more difficult for the population but it is easier for the uniformed men because at that time no lawyer, judge or journalist looks at them so they are just there without checks and balances. Wherever you hear security reform in any country know that the situation they were from was not conducive. Freedom is very expensive so when you get it keep it safely.” Mr Sey further said Gambia needs to reform not just security but all other institutions. Read the full interview on Bantaba Friday.]]>