Do not wake a sleeping bear. No one is going to fight or defend President Barrow when he is unfairly attacked personally. President Barrow will do that for himself. He will do it very well. This is the message to one so-called Gambian intellectual by the name of Dr. Ismaila Ceesay, a political science lecturer at the University of The Gambia.
President Barrow on his “Blue Print” press conference was visibly angry and irritated when responding to the personal attacks on him by an employee lecturer at the UTG. This man is not a keen supporter of the Barrow administration which is understandable and acceptable in our new democratic dispensation. When the government is being criticized or attacked it is the government’s spokesperson that has the prerogative to respond on behalf of the government. Ismaila Ceesay has been attacking the Barrow government since his days at GRTS on Giss Giss show and other media platforms without the President intervening or responding. The thick-skinned President did not raise qualms about Ceesay’s insults.
This time around our so-called professor thought that he is too big for the Gambian media and public. He has granted what has clearly become bias and subjective interview to the BBC. He has used International platform to renew personal attacks on President Barrow. Mr. Ceesay’s views were highly subjective taking into consideration he is a political science lecturer, lecturing students who should not know his stands on politics. The President might felt that a threshold of respect and dignity has been crossed by Ismaila Ceesay and he had to respond in person.
President Barrow gave a fitting response not only to Ismail Ceesay but to the so-called Gambian intellectuals. In my view, President Barrow should not have responded to Ismaila Ceesay because people have done that for him time and time again. But because Ismaila Ceessay was very personal on his fierce attacks, the President as a citizen with the same rights as any Gambian, has the right to defend himself. Some might argue that President Barrow must have a higher level of tolerance, especially when it comes to people bent on tarnishing and humiliating his character/image. President Barrow’s response to Ismaila Cessay may give the professor undeserved attention and cheap publicity both home and abroad. Since Ismaila Ceesay is not alone in this smear campaign, the President too is left with no choice but to send a clear message to our so-called intellectuals. Where were they when strangled Gambian people needed them most? President Barrow was right to ask: “where were the bragging, loudmouth intellectuals when the going was tough? President is still waiting for an answer to his question. Provide him the answer and stop rabble-rousing.
The old era playbook of “Monkey works, Baboon eats” is over in The Gambia. Gone are the days when useless elites spread their tentacles. There will be no elitism in our New Gambia where action must speak louder than empty rhetoric. We have been there before and it was no good at all. So don’t bring back that playbook.
May God bless The Gambia.