A young journalist responses to HAMAT BAH, MINISTER OF TOURISM, ARTS AND CULTURE on points of facts. Tumany Colley is young journalism graduates from the Insight Training Centre; who felt offended with remarks of the Tourism minister and leader of NRP.
In a political rally held recently in Brikama, Hon Hamat Bah Minister for Tourism was on tape and video, claiming that the media (Journalists) is/are the enemy/opposition (whatever you might want to call it) of the government of President Adama Barrow.
First of all, I would like to know how the media became an enemy to this government. I mean are you for real?!
Hon. Bah, may I humbly remind you that it is the responsibility of the media to hold government accountable. Section 107, sub-section 3 of the Constitution of the Republic of The Gambia clearly states:
“The press and other information media shall at all times, be free to uphold the principles, provisions and objectives of this Constitution, and the responsibility and accountability of the Government to the people of The Gambia”.
Don’t you read the law that guides your actions as a public officer, Hon.? Or is it that you are lazy to read and save yourself from the embarrassment that you often find yourself in?
Let me make it absolutely clear to you that the media is not a bed-mate to the government, neither is it an enemy. The government needs the media as much as the media needs the government. You of all people should know that. But then, in case you want the media to worship the government, better think twice because we all know that’s not ever going to happen.
The media, as the fourth estate of any country, is ought to be independent in order to carry out her daily duties. Enough with the lectures now Tourism minister!!!
Back to the main issue, not even in my wildest dreams have I ever thought people who said all bad things against Jammeh in the campaign would turn out to be almost as bad as he was/is. During the campaign (2016 presidential election), you and your government promised us (the media) paradise on earth. You people promised to give us back the freedom that was confiscated from us by Jammeh. How did we suddenly become your enemy?
You people made all kinds of promises. “We’ll rule for 3 years and then step down. We’ll do this; #’; and that…” Endless promises. Now that you’ve tasted what power looks like, you suddenly became deaf and dumb; don’t ever want to hear people talk about 3 years. Funny, isn’t it?
The media is here to speak for the people of The Gambia. If you feel uncomfortable about that, honourably resign, simple!
Furthermore, I sincerely think your government should concentrate on pressing issues currently choking this country of ours. Issues such as our dying health sector, the poor internet that is been provided by our GSM companies, the poor transportation; fuel price rising almost every month, amongst many other challenges, rather than verbally attacking people day and night.
Besides, the media should be the least of concerns to this government. We can take care of our own issues, so please leave us alone. Besides, do you pay us to do our job? Hell NO!
Please, do your job as a State Minister and leave us to our job, PERIOD! You know nothing with regards to our work.
Again, someone as respected as you’re; saying such against the media is totally unacceptable. We’ll not sit back and watch you (politicians) say unnecessarily bad things against the media. It happened in the past & it has to stop, NOW!!!
Finally, I wish your government will abolish all the draconian media laws in our Constitution. The media should be allowed to operate freely if there is any intention of making The Gambia a democratic state. Democracy can never work when then media is not free. NEVER!!!
WRITTEN BY: TUMANY COLLEY