By Kebba AF Touray
Mr. Mai Ahmad Fatty, the Minister for the Interior, while responding to the question raised by the Hon. Member for Sanneh Mentereng, on the position of the current government in bringing the former President and his associates to book, said his Ministry is closely and actively collaborating with the Ministry of Justice, to see thatthere will be consequences for impunity by all perpetrators of atrocities. Minister Fatty gave the assurance to deputies during Friday’s sitting of the second ordinary session of the National Assembly and further indicated to the Honourable Members, that appropriate measures will be taken against the atrocities committed.
In her intervention, the National Assembly Member for Banjul South, Hon. Fatoumata Njai, also asked the Interior Minister about what will be done to the former president’s associates, after having seen that the current government is embracing and appointing some of Jammeh’s associates into top positions in the new government?
In his response, the Interior Minister said there is a great discrepancy between appearance and reality and that there is also a difference between perception and reality. He said the Gambia is a nation governed by law and the laws are clear. He said there is what is called presumption of innocence and what they are saying are assumptions that certain people are or were guilty of a crime. ‘‘This is an assumption,” he said.
He said government cannot operate on the basis of assumption but on evidence. ‘‘If the Hon. Member for Banjul South has any evidence that the people reabsorbed by the present government are guilty of atrocities, we will be delighted to share that evidence,” Mr. Fatty asserted.
He said they are looking into the matter judiciously and assured honourable deputies, that there will be no secret cows and that anyone guilty of the atrocities committed against the sovereignty of The Gambia or Gambians, will face the consequences.
He also said that the matter has to be approached courteously.” We must not lean towards sentiments, superstition and conjuncture, we have to have facts,” he said.
“So those who feel they may have slipped through the holes, must not live in a full sense of confidence, because we are looking at everybody we believe should be looked into. Wherever you are, whether in the Government or outside it, the law’s arm will reach you at some point,” Minister Fatty pointed out.
The Minister conclude by saying that the current priorities such as youth unemployment, lack of electricity poor road infrastructure and resources constraints, are more urgent matters that should be addressed.