President Adama Barrow Thursday broke silence over the recent waves of violent incidents that have hit the country. He urged Gambians to act responsibly in a way that would preserve the peace that government and citizens are all yearning for.
“Recently, some people have been taking the law into their own hands to commit violent acts of destruction and attacks on property and individuals,” President Barrow told lawmakers in his 2019 State of the Nation Address at the Parliament building in Banjul.
Since the advent of the new democratic dispensation, Gambians have been taking to the streets to protest against corporate entities destroying their environment, police brutality, gender based violence etc. But in July this year, a sad of turn events resulted to the loss of lives and destruction of properties, raising serious concerns across the country.
President reminded the assembly that the violent incidents were marked by arson and murder, spiraling out of control in Kombo Berending, Gunjur, Koina, Garawol and, most recently, in the Kanifing Municipality.
“Personal attacks on government officials fighting crime in the country, such as the Assistant Police Commissioner and Head of the Police Anti-Crime, and arson attacks on his family home, the Bakoteh Police Station and within the Serekunda market area are not part of our values,” he deplored.
President Barrow further stated that “saying “Never Again” comes with a big responsibility for both citizens and government.”
He then tagged the “citizens saying “Never Again” to State violence and other forms of abuse as being the ones “who engage in various forms of violence against their fellow citizens, State institutions and officials. ”
President Barrow seized the opportunity to call on Gambians to preserve the peace prevailing in the country “as peace is priceless, and stability is the bedrock of development and progress.”
He then added: “We are One people, One Gambia for peace, progress and national development.”
As the tiny West African nation is navigating through the transition process, Barrow reiterated his call on all Gambians to rally behind gov’t efforts to meet the healing, reconciliation and reconstruction process that is in progress.
“Let us unite as a nation, and work together as a people; primarily, as brothers and sisters in a family. We must not allow politics or any worldly affair to separate us.We are all human beings and Gambians first, before anything else.”