By BABOUCARR CEESAY
A war of words has ensued between one of President Adama Barrow’s adviser and a grandee of the opposition Gambia Democratic Congress with the latter demanding an apology for an ‘unsubstantiated allegation’.
The GDC’s National Youth President, Momodou Cham commonly called MC Cham Jnr, urged Dou Sano, an adviser to President Barrow to withdraw his accusation that the former is a bona fide executive member of the so-called Coalition of Progressives behind a proposed nationwide demonstration planned for November 11 which was subsequently suspended.
According to MC Cham, his attention was drawn to an interview by Mr. Sano on the postponed protest in which he claimed that the GDC official was part and parcel of those who had attempted to orchestrate the mass action.
“He owes me an apology for referring to me (MC Cham) as his brother who is part of executive of GP and the planned protest” the GDC official said.
MC said as his elder, the presidential adviser should refrain from saying anything against him that was both misleading and malicious.
“But Dou Sano knows full well that I am not a coward as I am ever ready to show where I belong. I wish I was in the executive committee because things would have not unfolded the way they did” he countered.
He said the birth of the organization behind the planned protest already found him in the struggle to liberate The Gambia from the clutches of mediocrity and incompetence and had been calling these iniquities out with the local media for years.
Cham reminded Sano that in a democratic environment, every individual has an inalienable right to stage peaceful demonstrations over issues that cause social dissatisfaction.
He said if the protesters should be seen in a bad light then he (Dou Sano) who has a history of taking part in past protests against former President Yahya Jammeh must also be viewed in the same negative way.
He said far from fanning the embers of conflict to destroy a country, protesters draw attention to social grievances which would otherwise go unnoticed and therefore unresolved.
“I neither fear to be openly associated with protests or the executive committee of the organization. How many protests have I been a part of? The organization is a group of Gambians who have a concern and I think what Dou Sano should have done is to hail the Supreme Islamic Council instead of launching attacks on opposition politicians” he said.
According to Mr. Cham there is no peace in The Gambia given that the definition of peace is not the total absence of the instruments of war but the lack of opportunities to better the lives of its citizens who continue to wallow in abject poverty.
“How many Gambians live without three square meals a day? How many Gambians are severely ill without the resources to secure medical care? They are many. There is no security. Anyone leaving their home live in fear of returning to a burgled house. That is not peace,” he charged.
Dou Sano told the Star FM during an interview that politicians were behind the Coalition of Progressives aiding and abetting their drive toward a protest against the current living standard in The Gambia.
“Behind them are politicians like my own brother MC Cham Jnr, he is a politician. There are people coming from other political parties. They are politicians. They should stop that. If they want to establish their own political party let them go register their political party. That is their right to do without resorting to any violence,“ he claimed.
He said the politicians have been mobilizing people who aside from thinking about their survival and the education of their children may be worse off coming face to face with security officers who are brothers and uncles in uniform to secure the nation.
“Only a person who has no blessing will go face armed security personnel and I will not advise any youth to do that” Sano warned.
Barrow’s combative adviser added that while being brothers was a beautiful thing, provocations could lead to bloodshed given the role that the security forces should play to secure national peace and security.
In a further dig at the orchestrators of the demonstration he added: “You refuse to work when the whole world is moving forward. If you don’t want to be progressive please stop troubling others who want to move forward”.
Dou Sano said the overriding need for The Gambia is to prevent conflict and maintain peace and claimed he will not protect his position at the detriment of the country’s interest.