In his 2021 Koriteh address, President Adama Barrow mainly talked about some pressing national security and public safety issues. The Gambian head of State regretted what he called “disturbing reports of domestic violence in our communities and criminal acts of drug abuse, theft, destruction of property and other forms of crimes.“
Echoing the plight of many Gambians and alien residents in the country, President Barrow said, “These crimes pose a threat to peace and stability and can hamper our development efforts.”
Adama Barrow specifically mentioned the riot in Sanyang where properties and goods got damaged by angry demonstrators in the coastal village following the murder of one of theirs by a Senegalese national.
“The incident reported in Sanyang is a case in point. It is alarming that Gambian youths can take the law into their own hands to the extent of destroying a police station, looting businesses, and displacing law-abiding persons who had amicably integrated themselves into the Gambian community“, President Barrow said.
The Sanyang violence disrupted the lives of a whole community and dislodged people who had investments in the country and were peacefully earning their livelihoods in the area.
According to President Barrow, the rise in violent incidents is caused by people who take for granted his Government’s “promotion of freedom and other democratic values that would bring back smiles in a peaceful and stable environment.”
President Barrow said he is aware of domestic violence cases, leading to the death of two young persons in one instance. “Crimes that were unknown in the country, such as kidnapping and daylight robbery, are gradually becoming common news headlines,” he said.
He advises that Gambians follow the legal ways of expressing views or taking action against any offense or perceived injustice. Barrow also assured that “The Government is determined to fight crime under the law.”
After he listed his Government’s achievements and promised more efforts to bring prosperity to Gambians, Adama Barrow recalled the coming Presidential election in December.
“Let me emphasize that laws are governing these processes, which have to be respected. These include the requirements for voter registration and voting. Therefore, I call on all citizens to abide by the law, fully“, Adama Barrow warned.
He assured that his Government will ensure a peaceful end of the current democratic transitory period and asked to safeguard the common purpose of maintaining a peaceful and progressive Gambia despite differences.
The Gambian head of State asked all to be mindful that the Coronavirus is still real and act with caution while continuing to follow the advice of the health experts and take the COVID-19 vaccine.