Ruling coalition surrogate Essa Dampha, has called on the leader of the former ruling APRC to desist from making ‘baseless’ criticisms of the Barrow administration and assume the role of a responsible opposition in a democracy, “to cleanse its tainted image after 22 years of misrule”. Reacting to recent postulations by APRC leader Fabakary Tombong Jatta that the Barrow government is ‘failing to put things in order’ and scoring it 1 out of 4, Dampha, said Jatta was “very unfair considering the significant improvements and decisive steps made in the restoration of democracy, good governance, transitional justice, economic growth and security sector reforms” among other things.
He explained: “If you assess all these areas, you will see the president has already scored more than 75% of his targeted mandate since assuming office. The APRC has no merit in comparing itself to the new government in whatsoever and most of their arguments against the Barrow government are baseless and lack justification. They have no arguments that can be taken seriously because they failed Gambians over the past 22 years and Gambians have now turned their backs on them.
“I am calling on Fabakary and his APRC team to be constructive in their criticisms and desist from unlawful behaviours and work to complement government’s efforts as a responsible opposition not as detractors.” According to him, the Barrow government mandated itself with a reform agenda, which is nearing completion as it endeavours to set the country on a strong democratic footing with the establishment of a human rights commission, TRRC, national security policy, constitutional review commission and an anti-corruption commission.
He continued: “The productive base of the economy is significantly growing, with sound fiscal policies and financial discipline. All the institutions and parastatals are working keenly without any executive interference. “The security sector reform is gaining strength and momentum and is giving security forces opportunities to work on their constitutional mandate, improve human and technical capacity and safeguard the interest of the country instead of individual.”
Dampha, who is the head of media unit of the ruling coalition in the West Coast Region, averred that FTJ’s comments of division among coalition partners are “misleading” because “Barrow is not a lone man; the coalition is still intact, parties are the coalition partners and they are doing their best to see this government succeed.”