By Momodou Jarju
In what was his farewell speech to the nation, the outgoing Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Aboubacarr Tambadou, has charged the media with the responsibility of maintaining stability in the country.
Better known as Ba Tambadou, the former legal adviser to President Adama Barrow told reporters at his press conference in Banjul on Friday that it is refreshing to see a vibrant media and an active press corps in the country.
He applauded the media for that.
However, he told the reporters: “But in your hands lie the stability of this country. Be responsible about it.”
Tambadou said the country’s challenge going forward is to sustain the peace and turn it into stability for all and sundry, noting that the choice lies on everyone.
“We can either choose to live in peace or not,” he said.
The award-winning public officer warned that the biggest threat to the country’s peace and fledgling democracy is misinformation.
Thus, he implored the media to be mindful of their critical role in a fragile democracy like that of The Gambia.
“Do not turn your supporters in Government against you by your actions. Do not, under the guise of freedom of expression, ruin the lives and reputations of others simply because you can.
“In small communities like ours in this country, the consequences of publishing false information can be devastating. The people you write about have families too, their kids go to school with other kids, their spouses interact with others at work and other public places,” Tambadou said.
Speaking further on the media, Tambadou said the media ought to expose corruption and corrupt practices in Government by all means. Nonetheless, he encouraged the media to do it with facts.
“It will only enhance your credibility. Do not allow those with a partisan political or narrow personal agenda to use you to smear others because when you do, you will also discourage honest and hardworking Gambians from accepting to serve in public office and consequently deprive this country of the best human resource talent that we need to develop our country. Government is a microcosm of society and I believe that there are more honest people in society than we care to acknowledge,” he said.
Meanwhile, this is Tambadou’s second resignation from his position. The first attempt was rejected by President Barrow in July 2017. He picked up a new job in the United Nations as assistant to the Secretary General.