The recent distasteful and tribal vitriol commentary made by The cabinet Minister of Tourism , Mr Amat Bah during President Adama Barrow’s meeting with his supporters at State House on Saturday October 17, 2020 is the latest dangerous national security threat that could destabilize our country if The Gambian people did not change the trajectory of our country. Mr Amat Bah was quoted to have categorized majority Mandinkas of United Democratic Party as “Rats” and has “warned Gambian Fulas against voting for the “Rats “ implying that it would bring suffering to Gambian Fulas “. This is the second despicable comment made by President Barrow’s inner circle. First, it was Imam Baba Leigh who made similar distasteful and tribal identity political comment last year when he suggested to Fula Organization to support Adama Barrow and indicated that “Adama Barrow is a typical Fula; if anyone wants to make him something that will be just to use him but even his parents, grandparents are all Fulas from Barrow- Kunda in Futa Toro,” .
The Gambian people would recall that The former President Yaya Jammeh had also done similar tribal identity politics and on multiple occasions he had called Mandinkas Majority as foreigners . Jammeh branded UDP as a Mandinka party when his party was supported by Mandinkas majority at the time. Jammeh went further to make existential threat against Mandinkas during the last presidential election. The violent tribal threat was condemned by all peaceful citizens and the United Nations Human right agency. Jammeh was eventually defeated when majority citizens voted against him and led to his ultimate exile to Equatorial Guinea.
The State Minister Bah’s comments should be condemned by all Gambians who want to see peace, unity and tribal cohesion in The Gambia. Mr Bah’s tribal vitriol has no place in current political climate in the country. His comments are indication of identity politics that President Adama hopes to rely on to win 2021 presidential election. It was identity politics that destroyed and defeated the former President Jammeh, Charles Taylor of Liberia ,The Former President Laurent Gbagbo of Ivory Coast and the former Libyan Dictator Gaddiffe who all categorized their political opponents as “Rats”. In fact , the former Libyan Dictator characterization of his political opponents as “Rats and threat of violence” against them led to United Nations Security Council resolution 1973 in 2011 which formed the legal basis for military intervention in Libya and subsequent demise of the former Libyan Dictator. President Barrow must understand that his inner circle is trending on a dangerous path which could lead to his downfall and he must understand the same history in The Gambia will repeat itself if his administration continues to encourage tribal vitriol and identity politics. The majority Gambians are not stupid people and they will disgrace any leader who encourages division and hateful tribalism in the country.
President Adama Barrow must immediately dismiss the State Minister Bah and call a press conference to distant himself and his party from
Such a despicable and dangerous tribal vitriol. Mr Barrow’s failure to condemn Mr Bah’s hateful comments is an indication of full endorsement and support of such a distasteful political behavior which has no place in our politics.
After 22 years of military dictatorship categorized by tribal identity politics, nepotism, lawlessness and political corruption, The Gambian people are sick and tired of the same political vitriol continuing to threaten our peaceful coexistence. Mr Barrow must act now to end this hateful tribal incitement and vitriol, failure to do so would lead him to similar political fate Jammeh had experienced in 2016.
Editors note: The author’s views do not represent the position of the Freedom Newspaper. Thanks for your kind attention.
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