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GAMBIA: PA SAMBA JOW ASSERTS THAT GAMBIANS SHOULD BE ALARMED BY BARROW’S “AGGRESSION”

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Pa Samba Jow, a political and human rights activist, has described President Barrow’s recent remarks against his political opponents and the country’s democracy as unsettling and has advised Gambians to be concerned.
President Adama Barrow told NPP supporters on Monday at the inauguration of the party’s political secretariat in CRR North that the country’s democracy is spiraling out of control. Now the situation will alter. The disrespect and nonsensical discussions geared toward dismantling my country are getting too much. In the future, however, you will have a new president by the name of Barrow.

The animosity you have for President Barrow should not give you the audacity to disparage government employees. Barrow stated, “We will no longer tolerate this, and I will instruct the Inspector General of Police to arrest and confine any individuals who attempt to create chaos in this country.”

The reaction

Pa Samba Jow responded to the president’s remarks in an exclusive Standard article by stating, “We should be concerned. Unfortunately for Gambians, we never see past what is immediately in front of us. In 2017, when HalifaSallah warned that if the government is not correctly guided, we may return to dictatorship, he was vilified for having the audacity to make such a statement. However, today, all the signs are present. The greatest peril to any democracy is a weak-skinned leader. If you doubt me, ask the United States, where the election of a thin-skinned president, Donald J. Trump, has imperiled nearly 300 years of democracy.”

Jow further stated that he was neither astonished nor disappointed by Barrow’s statements.

“This is neither the first nor the last time. The statement is abhorrent and poses a threat not only to free speech but also to the democracy we are attempting to foster. There is no such thing as a ‘too lax democracy’. Certainly, there are persons continually murmuring in his ear, “You must be firm; Jammeh would never have allowed this” But just maybe the president needs a reminder that the 22-year-long and difficult struggle against Jammeh’s ruthless dictatorship was to herald in a democracy that guarantees the unfettered right to freedom of expression as enshrined in our constitution. My recommendation to the IGP and the entire security force is to remember the TRRC proceedings. They must never enable the president or any other politician to use them to violate the rights of the Gambians,” Jow added.

The transition

He added that the president’s remarks merely imply that “if we, the citizens, remain complacent, we could easily lose our liberties.

“I am convinced that Barrow is intent to suppress his opponents and dissenting opinions. In fact, they have been attempting to do so for several years. The haste with which the government attempted to link Yankuba Darboe to the brutal homicides of two PIU officers reveals a government that seizes every opportunity to attack. “Unfortunately for them, that theory collapsed,” he stated.

He stated that the country’s transition to full-fledged democracy poses a danger, not only due to Barrow’s statements, but also because all the ingredients for a return to dictatorship are present.

“The repugnant laws, the enabling environment, and, of course, a security force that has no problem carrying out orders from the top,” he explained.

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