24 December 2012

Gambia: 'No Gov't Will Allow 'Irresponsible Press' to Cause Mayhem'

The Majority leader and National Assembly member for Serrekunda East, has said that no government would allow 'irresponsible press' to cause mayhem in any country.

Hon. Fabakary Tombong Jatta made this comment on Wednesday while wrapping up the debate on the adjournment at the National Assembly. According to him, all those who witnessed the First and Second Republics, if not for hypocrisy and interest, they know there is so many developments in this country which are unprecedented. He said it is only an irresponsible government that will allow its country to be thrown in chaos and anarchy.

He said since people want a free press, it has to go with responsibilities too, adding that it is his conviction that a vibrant press only helps the leadership, as it is an essential ingredient to democracy and good governance. "We are not afraid of being criticised. We are not claiming to be a perfect government. So, for the press houses like Teranga FM, we would continue to appeal to the government to allow them to operate and in fact honestly and sincerely, Teranga FM has been doing good work. We must be honest to our conscience and be able to advise correctly on issues and together we can move this country", he remarked.

He disclosed that some people are blogging and putting stories in the internet and other websites insulting the leadership of this country. He pointed out that a patriotic citizenry respects its leadership and works for the country to move forward. "We must ensure that Gambians cherish the peace we have been enjoying and must make sure that we protect the interest of this country. Only those few disgruntled elements who, for various reasons known to them, will sit back to comment bad and try to instigate Gambians to bring about discord," he said.

Hon. Jatta revealed that the Minority leader sought permission to see the president during his annual leave and the president granted permission to them to meet the minister of Presidential Affairs and secretary general. According to him, they were there to talk on the issue of the closure of the media houses. "Let me say this, the power of the pen is deadly and it must be handled by responsible people," he pointed out.

He went on to state that "it is only irresponsible governments that would allow a country to be thrown into chaos because of so-called democracy or whatever form".He went on:"What is clear is that the leadership wants to make the country a heaven for all but the peace and stability would not be compromised".

Hon Jatta said it is in this country that opposition means enemity, while indicating that government belongs to all; it does not only belong to APRC, but all citizens. "You will see government events where opposition will be invited they will not attend. Is that a good ground to bring about rapport and understanding between government and the opposition? We should encourage our opposition to work with government as partners," he advised.

Abdoulie Bojang, the speaker of the National Assembly also voiced out that they will appeal to the authorities to pardon the media houses, but said the Assembly does not know the crime those media houses committed which might have plundered this country into chaos; hence their closure.

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