Didn’t President Barrow Show Statesmanship When He Was Rudely Distracted By A Disgruntled Parliamentarian?
It seems none of the media outlets that were present to cover the official opening of Parliament last Thursday, condemn the unacceptable conduct of the MP whose behavior towards the President in front of the whole world by requesting the Honorable Speaker to ask the President to put on his face maskwhile delivering his annual address to the National Assembly infulfilment of the Constitutional requirement of the nation, violated Parliamentary ethics and conduct. Such unethical behaviors should be condemned in the strongest term to avoid other mongrels in Parliament to embarrass themselves in the future.
To his credit, Barrow came to the National Assembly observing all the safeguarding measures his government have been promulgating everywhere to curb and contain the spread of the pandemic. He was seen avoiding the usual handshakes to dignitaries as well as the invited guests for the occasion while putting on his face mask. It is simply logical and practical to deliver his marathon address which lasted over an hour without mask. That statement was acclaimed to be one of his best speeches to our Parliamentarians in terms of clarity and fit for purpose.
Unmasking that MP’s previous problems with the Barrow government, made me to be suspicious of his motivation. He was once arrested and taken to Court for a criminal offence along with 3 others only to have his case withdrawn from the Courts in Basse and all charges dropped. He was one of those MPs who admitted receiving Pickup vehicle from Barrow, yet he is a member of one of the opposition parties. This same individual was recently singled out by the UDP leader with praises after he joined others to wish him well on the occasion of his 72nd birthday. Therefore, listening to him attempting to embarrass the President in front of the whole world really show that he was not acting in good faith but he was rather part of those now engaged in political gangsterism to distract Barrow from doing what he is elected to do- that is to serve the interest of all Gambians.
But, Adama Barrow’s calmness and demeanor in handling the situation have earned him enough respect from the people. This incident has demonstrated that he is a true statesman. Any other President would have handle the matter differently and, if it was done during Jammeh’s time, by now that Parliamentarian would have been stripped off his parliamentary immunity and taken to Mile two after being severely ‘processed’ at one of his torture chambers. The conduct of that MP violated parliamentary ethics and does not deserves to be styled Honorable. How many young children and students were watching the presidential address in our legislative body when this MP rudely interrupted the head of state demanding from him through the Speaker to wear face mask.
Such behaviors should not be entertain in the future. Whether his intention was to score political points or not, the Office of the President being authoritatively the highest office in the land must be respected if we want peace in this country. You don’t have to be disrespectful to the President in front of the whole world and expect citizens of the world to respect our democracy. Thank God! President Barrow showed good leadership qualities by completely ignoring that parliamentary hoodlum. Media houses should be critical in their reporting and not leave anystones unturned.
Politics is about mutual respect.
Editors note: Our apologies to the Jimara MP Alhagie Sowe. The MP, who confronted Barrow was not MP Alhagie Sowe as inadvertently reported by Morro Gaye. Sowe was not in Parliament on the day in question. He was in Gambisara to attend a funeral.
UDP Tumani MP Foday Drammeh was the one, who the one, who confronted President Barrow for not wearing a face mask.
Thanks MC Cham for bringing Gaye’s inaccurate reporting to us.