By Omar Bah
The Gambian counselor in the UK, Suntou Touray has strongly condemned a WhatsApp audio circulating on social media, in which a Gambian Yankuba Suso residing in Turkey, issued death threats against President Adama Barrow.
Suso, who identified himself as a native of Niani Kuntaur, is reportedly a former strong supporter of President Barrow, but in this audio that went viral, Suso threatened violence against the president and his wife.
“I have not been talking for the past two years. I made my position clear since 2017 that it is us who sacrificed our lives to vote President Barrow into the office. Barrow is today foolishly bragging that he was the one, who removed Jammeh from power. Barrow is a betrayer and a liar, and very selfish. I realized from the word go that he is incompetent, he cannot run this country. I have decided to wage a war against Barrow,” he said.
Suso, who claimed he was among those who used to protect Barrow during the political impasse, further said: “I want this audio to reach President Barrow. I am not hiding. I am coming for him. What happened in Haiti was a small thing. I am going to assassinate Barrow and his wife.”
However, reacting to the threats in a Standard exclusive, Suntou Touray said: “The statement has caused alarm among a section of Gambians both at home and in the diaspora. The Gambian diaspora is a very vibrant community of very hardworking men and women. The Gambian diaspora is known worldwide for their dedication, tenacity, commitment, and patriotism to The Gambia and the countries they reside in. Gambians in the diaspora are now a significant contributor to the improved GDP of the nation. The newfound democratic dispensation sadly has a tiny element, that are hell-bent on tarnishing the good image of peace-loving and tolerance that Gambians are known for.”
He added: “Threatening violence against one’s own country is the height of cowardice and lack of maturity. The new democratic environment is enjoyed by both supporters of the government and the opposition and the civil society who have demonstrated that we can use civilized means to resolve contentious issues. The speaker on the audio is said to be one Yankuba Suso.
“It is our ferment opinion that he is a minority in the Gambian diaspora community. Gambians are passionate, but tolerant and forgiving. To threaten a sitting head of state with assassination is not only troubling but can convey a negative image of the diaspora Gambian community.”
The diplomat said the West takes issues of threats of violence, extremism, and the likes as strongly against civilize norms and values.
“It is on that basis that we call on Gambians in the diaspora to continue to participate and express their opinions in the vibrant political discourses, however, it should be done in accordance with rule of law and due process.
The speaker on the audio should retract his statements and use acceptable means of conveying his political opinion. Peace and stability are the bedrock of all progressive societies and the Gambia cannot afford violence and chaos,” he added.
Extremism in politics, the diplomat added, has “no place in the Gambia. People should support their parties whilst at the same having respect for one another and the diverse community of citizens”.