We hereby transcribed president Adama Barrow’s charged speech, he delivered in Turkey during a meeting with the Gambian community there. The statement was made in the Mandinka dialect. Please read on….
The ultimate responsibility of developing the country, is the responsibility of the Gambian people. Other countries, the World Bank and the IMF, the European Union, they can always help, but the responsibility is in the hands of the Gambian people. And because we were united, we are strong. Let continue with that spirit of unity. That’s the only way our country can develop; our country can advance.
But there is too much talk going on. Everyone is beating your chest; to boast that I have done this; I have done that. One of my friends once told me this: Victory can cause many violence, but defeat is an orphan.
There is a victory; hence everyone can talk now, but the question is: In our efforts to secure victory, are we equal in sharing the fruits of the victory? We should ask each other such a legitimate question. Are we equal as far as the victory is concerned?
But today, there are many people talking; saying we will not allow this; we will not tolerate this; we will not accept another Yahya Jammeh; we will not accept this; we will not accept that.
But when we were challenging Yahya Jammeh, the same people speaking out today, they were in the Gambia. When Yahya Jammeh refused to step down; when he refused to accept the outcome of the elections; when he rejected the electoral results; on that day, myself and the commission members stood and issued a statement to respond to Yahya Jammeh. These were the people, who stood behind us yesterday. But the people talking and making noise today, they were nowhere to be seen at all. That was the day, people should have spoken; that was the day that they should have taken to the streets and tell Yahya Jammeh that what you have said will not be accepted; that it will not happen; that you have been defeated, and you should leave office by force.
The civil society groups ought to have spoken on that day. But on that day, I haven’t heard a single word or conversation. But today, there is too much talk everywhere. But we will talk since it is about Gambia.
Prior to my electoral victory, they arrested our people; because one of our people was arrested and killed; our people took to the streets to register their anger against his killing; they were also arrested for protesting; we stayed behind.
For three months, we have been walking in and out of court. We were the people, who used to mobilize people to go to the courthouse. When we walked towards Ousainou Darboe to greet him, the NIA officers will mix with the crowd to greet Ousainou Darboe; so that they can identify us.
On that day, there were a lot of people in the Gambia, but we do not see them. But today, everyone is coming out.
To go to mile two, a police officer will stand behind you; he will stand behind Ousainou; we walk into the prison to see him and leave. On that day, we didn’t see people.
There was this day, we wanted to mobilize people; this was on the 9th of May; the money we spent to mobilize people was around nearly one million dalasi. We spent nearly one million dalasi to mobilize people. We got less than one thousand people; we couldn’t mobilize one thousand people in the Gambia on that day.
We brought people as far the rural areas; as far as Wulli Sandu to witness the court; Solo Kouruma answered to call; there are people in Banjul, who could have just walked into the courthouse, but they failed to come. There are people in Serrekunda; it would only cost them ten-dalasi transport fare, but they failed to come.
When was it late in the night that we can recognize each other? We should ask each other this question: When did we start to recognize each other under the cover of darkness? This mishap just happened yesterday; I mean yesterday…
It reached a point that our Executive, the UDP; one day we were having a meeting and we said among ourselves that our leadership members have started aging; why can’t we scout for young educated Gambians to join us; that we should scout for intellectuals to join us; we challenge each for the recruitment exercise; we all tried our very best, but we couldn’t attract any educated Gambian to join us. We tried to recruit young intellectuals to join the fight against Jammeh, but we didn’t succeed.
But today, the number of lawyers we have in this country is in abundance; we have doctors in abundance; there are so many accounts; but where were they?
But today, these are the people standing saying we will not accept this; we will not allow this; we will not allow another Yahya Jammeh; are we the ones to say that or you are the people to say that? Can you answer that question?
I have never worked in a government; that never happen in my lifetime; I never expected that I will work in a government; I was there; I was a political animal; I joined the struggle (the group) to free the oppressed; because I was not happy with some of the things that were happening under Jammeh’s rule. I lived it under Jammeh’s rule. And I knew that Jammeh’s departure will also contribute to my achievements; that was why I joined the struggle.
Transcribed from Mandinka to English by Pa Nderry M’Bai