Info Minister Gives Media Mea Culpa

By Abdoulie John

The Gambia’s Information Minister has offered a resounding mea culpa [ an acknowledgment of one’s fault or error] to journalists over a controversial statement he had earlier made. Ebrima Sillah’s misunderstood statement has raised eyebrows in some quarters. It still continues to generate headlines.

“I want to take this opportunity to sincerely apologise for what I’ve said which was misunderstood,” Ebrima Sillah in a statement he delivered on the occasion of activities marking World Press Freedom Day at the Auditorium of the University of The Gambia in Kanifing on Friday.

In a continent where top government officials tend to be viewed as more godly than God, Sillah’s statement came as a surprise to many people.  But Mr. Sillah had beaten some people’s imagination by humbling himself to right the wrong. By apologising to the media fraternity demonstrated Sillah’s true character.

Monister Sillah also disclosed that Gambia Press Union President, Sheriff Bojang Jr, and the second-in-command of the country’s press body, Mustapha K. Darboe, reached out to him with a view to containing the controversy, and making sure it does not spiral out.

“It is important when the vast majority of people think that you have erred, it is human to accept it,” he said, attracting a wave of applause.

As a journalist with wealth of experience, Mr. Sillah said it had never been his intention to smear the media. “As a human being, we need to be humble enough to accept our mistakes.”

Information Minister reiterated the government’s unflinching support to the media. He outlined the important role journalists have played in ending Yahya Jammeh’s two-decade long dictatorship.


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