Gambia social media War has now reached a climax, following the entry of The Gambia de facto president, foreign minister, lawyer Ousainou darboe. Lawyer Darboe who is believed by majority of Gambia to be the man pulling the strings in the Gambia apparently took to social media to lash out at what he believed to be growing trend of baseless news spread on social media by individuals claiming to be members of his political party.
Darboe was responding to someone he alleged to be a member of his party, and based in Germany. According to foreign minister Darboe, the individual based in Germany has alleged that he (Darboe) was handing out appointments to close pals and associates. But it was the case of Isatou Badjie, that troubled the Gambia’s foreign minister the most. According to Darboe, the individual in Germany and others whose audio files he had just listened to, were misleading. He went on to ask why these individuals did not try to find out the truth before going on their rant.
Lawyer Darboe went on to explain that Isatou or Isha Badjie was in the civil service before his government came to power. And that his government move people around base on need and other priorities. He added, if we need Badjie in France, she would be moved there. If we need her at the health ministry, she would be moved there, as the civil service allows for transfer of civil servants between departments. Darboe also dismiss the claim that Isatou Badjie’s appointment as a Gambian diplomat was for political expediency, as she Badjie has no political cloud whatsoever. To further buttress this point, foreign minister Darboe pointed out that Isatou Badjie’s father was ambassador when his government came to power, but he was removed by his government. If the appointment of Isatou Badjie was due to political expediency, then it would have made greater sense to leave her father in place as ambassador as he had more political cloud than her daughter. Isatou Badjie is presently appointed a Gambian diplomat at the UN. This appointment did not go down well with die hard members of the UDP. The audio messages circulating over the internet made pointed attacks on Darboe himself. The WhatsApp audio files that Darboe claims to have listened to, reportedly took direct aim at him. But the lack of basic decorum and decency was particularly troubling to foreign minister. How the individuals on audio files make unflattering reference to his mother as a way of lashing out. He used what he called his maiden audio files to urge fellow country men to accord each other common decency and respect despite the opposition to some of the things he was accused of. Darboe categorically deny ever appointing Badjie as a diplomat. But he also added that if we have to remove all who are non UDP people in the government, what gambia would that be? Darboe calls on disgruntled members of his party, who purportedly made the audio files, to rethink their calls for the break up of the UDP party. Darboe is not particularly thrilled by those calls. He wondered if good members of his UDP party would be calling for the break up of the party rather than fixing the party.
As has been noted above, this WhatsApp message files by Darboe is apparently the first by Gambian foreign minister. This, according to the minister himself during the introduction, was the first time he signed up for whatsapp. He also addressed the challenges of navigating what he referred to as “gagget”, before he continued recording his message. Minister Darboe spoke entirely in his native dialect, Mandingo. He announced the beginning of the recording as 2:07am Local time in Gambia. It was very surprising that Mr Darboe was up at this hour of the night instead of sleeping. It seems that these social media audio files are getting to the minister’s skin. He acknowledged that after joining the WhatsApp platform, he spent the time listening to the audio files already circulating among his circle of friends. At the end, he was compelled to release his response in kind. That explains why he was doing his first audio that late into the night. Lawyer Darboe never stated the date of the recording. But this recording is very likely less than a week old as the whole Isatou Badjie saga itself is still less than a week old. The development Is highly commendable although it may not be enough to combat the numerous libelous audio files released daily on the web.