December 5, 2020

“Hamat Did Not Specifically Insult Mandinkas”- Says Mai Fatty

The Leader of the Gambia Moral Congress GMC and former Interior Minister, Mai Ahmad Fatty, has denied the alleged insults made against a tribe by the Tourism Minister Hamat Bah.

Hamat came under fire for making ‘tribal comments’ while addressing supporters of President Adama Barrow during a political meeting at State House on Saturday. He warned Gambians against voting for the ‘rats’, insisting it would spell the suffering of Gambian Fulas.

Many Gambians and a host of political parties have condemned the comments made by the Tourism and Culture Miniater.

But, the GMC leader has a different view of the alleged comments of Minister Bah and his statement is written below:

“My politics is based on facts, principle and the truth. Just because many people adopted the position that “dirimo” or rat refers to Mandingkas, that doesn’t mean I have to slavishly follow the bandwagon. Everyone is entitled to his or her views. Based on the video that I watched, and the context within which the impugned statement was uttered by Hamat, I have a different interpretation on the matter.
Hamat’s statement may be offensive but in my view, it would be wrong to say “dirimo” referred to the Mandingka tribe. It was a generic reference for the opposition. We Mandingkas should not appropriate this word as our own. No one is more Mandingka than me, and I will not encourage anyone to insult my tribe or other tribes. Hamat did not specifically insult Mandingkas with the dirimo comment. Interpreting it within context, it meant the opposition.

Mandingkas are not the only opposition leaders. I stand nothing to gain by ascribing falsehood and propagating it. My politics is not one based on falsehood. At GMC, that is not who we are.

This isnt the first time Hamat complained about Fulas and ID cards. Hon. O.J Jallow as Minister & Mrs Tambajang once raised the issue at an official forum as Vice President in front of the President. I was at that formal meeting as Minister of Interior. Many people just rush with the flow. Leaders should not be easily carried away by the hullabaloo. I do not defend anyone or support anyone. I stand on issues as I understand them to be based on clear, objective, critical analytical assessment. I heard an opposition leader who made a much more damaging political statement that we are all paying for, and more grave than Hamat’s own. Truth be told, Gambians largely encourage frivolous behaviour in politics. Just listen to the dangerous diatribe via online TVs, radios, or various political party fora ( plural of forum). We created this monster and now we are shocked at our own political creation. Welcome to our own reality!”

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