Concerned about his personal safety, security and that of his family Gambia’s President elect Adama Barrow, said he decided to engage the services of a private security firm in Senegal. President elect Barrow made the revelation today at a news conference heled at the five star Kairaba Beach Hotel. This followed a question raised by a local journalist to shed light a Freedom Newspaper story authored by Pa Nderry M’Bai that the Senegalese government has deployed 15 bodyguards to protect President elect Barrow and his family.

mai-fatty-12Mr. Barrow seized the opportunity to set the records straight. “ I need to clear the air. I am concerned about my security. We have hired a private security firm from Senegal to protect me. It is all about my safety and security. I think it is important for me to clear the air,” President elect Barrow said.

The reporter put it to President elect Barrow as to whether his move will suggest that he doesn’t have trust and confidence in The Gambian state security apparatus, President elect Barrow maintains that his safety is paramount in this transition period.

Mr. Barrow is expected to assume office in January. He won the electons by capturing 43 % percent of the total vote cast. Outgoing President Yahya Jammeh secured 40 % of the votes, while the GDC leader Mama Kandeh got 17% of the total votes cast.

President elect Barrow’s statement contradicts Mai Fatty’s recent statement debunking the Freedom Newspaper reportage of the Senegalese foreign guards protecting the President.  Mr. Fatty is a Gambian lawyer and a member of the Transition Team.

Mai Fatty’s Original Reaction To Our Story

“ Mr. Mbai, I am calling you in regards to a story published by the Freedom Newspaper suggesting that President Macky Sall, has provided security to President elect Barrow. For the record, the government of Senegal, has not made any such security protection or offer to President elect Barrow. President elect Barrow has also not made any such request from President Sall. That information is purely inaccurate,” Mr. Fatty told this medium as soon as our story hits the newsstand.

“ President elect Barrow and the Transition Team had confidence in our security forces. They are capable of protecting Barrow and the Gambian people. The situation is under control. President Barrow will soon address the nation. I can assure you that there is no foreign security around President elect Barrow. That President elect Barrow had only private security around him. Now we have increased the number of men around him. There is no threat around him. We are receiving cooperation from the outgoing government,” Lawyer Mai Fatty added.

When quizzed as to whether he meant to tell us that President elect Barrow has engaged the services of a private security firm in Sengal, Mr. Fatty maintained that there is no foreign security around Barrow.

The Freedom Newspaper Editor put it to Lawyer Fatty that he stood by his story, and that he has no reason to doubt his sources. Hear Mai Fatty’s reaction: “Mr. Mbai, I am not impeaching your story. I am just making a clarification. I know you are a very good journalist. You have been fair and balanced in your reporting. But the clarification is that President Barrow has not received any security from President Sall.”

Editors note: We want to thank Hon. Mai Fatty and President elect Barrow’s transition team for the timely reaction to our story. We have made it clear to Mr. Fatty that we stood by our story. Admitted, the national security and diplomatic ramifications associated with the said report is high, but at the same time, as journalists, we owe it to our country to report unfolding political developments in The Gambia.

Who Is Telling The Truth?

Mai Fatty told us earlier that he was instructed by President elect Barrow and the Transition Team to clear the air. We took his rebuttal as the official position of the Transition Team and that of President elect Barrow, when we spoke. Now there is a complete shift as far as Fatty’s rebuttal was concerned. President Barrow has confirmed about the presence of foreign security at his home. Although he never mention the involvement of the Senegalese government or President Macky Sall. As the saying goes “ A buried truth shall rise again.” 

Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai

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