GAMBIA: EDITORIAL: THE FARABA BANTA….; THE LEGITIMACY OF BARROW’S PRESIDENCY IS ON THE LINE!

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More blood has been shed in Barrow’s one-and-a-half-year-old government. First, it was in Kanilai, dictator Yahya Jammeh’s home village, where unarmed protesters were shot at leaving one dead, and nine others critically injured. On Monday, two environmentalists in Faraba Banta, were shot and killed, leaving dozen others critically injured. Bakary Kujabi and Ismaila Bah were killed for merely taking part in a peaceful protest march against the Julakay Engineering and Construction Company. Julakay has been accused of environmental exploitation. 

President Adama Barrow has called for an inquiry to be opened to investigate the cause of death in the Faraba incident. Mining at the site has also been suspended for now.

A radio talk host show journalist Pa Modou Bojang, also said he was harassed and tortured by the police intervention unit officers deployed to the mining site. He sustained injury on his head.

Bojang prides himself as a staunch supporter of president Barrow and his government. His only crime was covering an environmentalists protest march. He was illegally arrested and thrown into a waiting PIU truck after been subjected to brutal torture.

A senior Gambian law enforcement officer told the Freedom Newspaper that the Gambian police have been faced with teargas shortage. The police had limited teargas in its stock. Hence, armed PIU officers deemed it prudent to fire live ammunition at the unarmed environmentalists. They also capture and torture detainees.

“We had limited teargas in our stock. The teargas, we are using is an old and outdated one,” one officer familiar with the police’s operations told me.

While the Faraba massacre was on, the Inspector General of police Landing Kinteh, was enroute to the United States, police insiders told me. He is here on an official mission.

“The office of the Inspector General of police wishes to make it clear that it did not authorize the use of fire arms and will investigate the circumstances that led to this unfortunate incident,” a statement issued by the IGP’s office stated.

The legitimacy of president Barrow’s government is eroding at an alarming proportion. Gambians have lost faith in Mr. Barrow and his administration. The most anticipated security and democratic reforms haven’t been ushered yet.

Mr. Barrow hasn’t demonstrated that he is fit to rule this country. He has mortgaged our environment to political hacks and phony backroom deal makers. Ask the people of Gunjur, they will tell you something about our assertion. Gunjur has been reduced into a pollutant down–thanks Adou Boy’s complicity in openly aiding and abetting the Chinese Golden Lead Fishing factory to pollute the people of Gunjur. His aide and close buddy Alhagie Conteh, is also complicit in Golden Lead’s environmental crimes.

The tortures and killings will not stop the environmental advocacy. Gambians reserve the right to decent living. Environmental exploitation in any form should not be condoned.

During his Koriteh speech, Barrow referred to his critics on social media as being part of the minority noisemakers. He is apparently bothered by the negative criticisms being heaped on him by Gambians on social media.

Gambians are more united today in salvaging our flora and fauna. Even the UDP supporters are in solidarity with the people of Faraba.

Barrow is losing credibility to govern on a daily basis. He needs to redeem himself before it is too late.

By the way, we heard about an upcoming protest scheduled for Sunday at West-field. Reports have it that the organizers of the protest want Barrow to resign from the presidency.

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