Dated: 1st July 2022
Re: The Gambia Government Debunks Scurrilous Report by “The Voice” Newspaper on Purported Presidential Involvement in Illicit Timber Trade
Banjul, The Gambia — The Government of The Republic of The Gambia unequivocally debunks and condemns in the strongest terms, the fatally malicious and unethically trashy report of “The Voice”
Newspaper edition of Wednesday 29 June 2022 alleging the involvement of His Excellency, President Adama Barrow in illicit re-export of timber and acquiring money illegally. There is not a scintilla of truth to “The Voice” story and the medium is reminded of verification as a crucial element in fact-checking.
Since coming to power in 2017, President Barrow has been consistently passionate and resolutely committed to the preservation of our endangered natural resources to balance the economic needs of our population and the environmental rights of future generations.
With the appointment of a new Minister of Environment, Climate Change, and Natural Resources (MECCNAR), the Barrow administration is reinvigorating the statutory protection mechanism for our fauna and flora. MECCNAR and the National Timber Taskforce have all the presidential backings necessary to enforce the ban on timber re-export and related illicit activities.
Just last Friday, the newly-appointed Vice President, Badara A. Joof summoned the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Director-General of the State Intelligence Service (SIS), the Managing Director of The Gambia Ports Authority (GPA), the Commissioner-General of Customs and the new Environment Minister and team to his office with clear instruction, “to tackle this menace head-on”.
Therefore, suggesting President Barrow’s complicity in the abhorrent pillaging of our natural resources is a futile and malicious attempt calculated to dent his reputation and cast doubt on his renewed efforts to deal with the real culprits.
Without presenting tangible facts or reaching out to The Gambia Government for verification of their allegations as expected of professional practitioners, “The Voice” Newspaper went wayward betraying every ethical standard of journalism by peddling a fairy tale lead story on the supposed presidential timber trade
.The public is assured that by assenting to the “Access to Information Act, 2021”, President Barrow and his Government encourage media pluralism and participatory democracy with unprecedented access to both domestic and foreign media outlets.
Ebrima G Sankareh
The Gambia Government Spokesperson