Ousted Minister of Homeland Security Mai Ahmad Fatty said he is thankful for the opportunity accorded to him by President Adama Barrow to serve his cabinet, refusing to be dragged into a confrontation over his sacking.
Fatty in a statement said he is not bitter over his unceremonious departure from the Barrow Administration despite allegations of corruptions, which he strongly denied.
He urged supporters to respect the decision of the president, on whose pleasure he was serving in the cabinet of the coalition government that ushered a new dawn of democracy in the Gambia.
“It is no secret that the law grants President Barrow the authority to hire and fire a Minister. A Cabinet Minister serves at the President’s pleasure. You may or may not agree with the exercise of that authority, but all Gambians should respect that right of his,” said Fatty.
“I do, and without an iota of bitterness. The call to serve is an honor and I am thankful for the opportunity given me. I will never stop serving The Gambia and her citizens. The Gambia is bigger than one individual, and I want you all to support the on-going development efforts.”
The State House has remained mute over the reasons for Fatty’s sacking. So far, pressure on Press Secretary Amie Bojang Sissoho to divulge the reasons have been futile. Bojang told reporters she does not know the causes of Mai Fatty’s dismissal.
Fatty’s supporters say authorities must give an official explanation but pundits say while they were making the request in support of Fatty, divulging of the real reason behind the firing could be detrimental to Fatty.
Fatty’s statement on Tuesday that he was serving at the pleasure of Mr. Barrow, who has the Constitutional mandate to recruit and replace any of his ministers could be seen as a covert plea to supporters to let go of pressuring the State House into giving an explanation.
However, Fatty urged authorities to launch an unprecedented probe into the allegations of corruption making rounds in the news, strongly believing he is innocent.
“Let us stay focused, stand together as one people, shun divisive propensity and remain true to our allegiance to our Republic. I wish our Coalition Government success. At this sensitive period, confrontation among the coalition leaders will not help our national cause,” he said.
“I resist the invitation to the contrary for the good of Mother Gambia. We cannot fail and we will never fail. The Gambia shall be a beacon of hope and prosperity in Africa. There is no other choice.”
He blamed political adversaries for launching a smear campaign to tarnish his image, breaking his silence over the dismissal. Fatty launched his political career as an opposition leader in 2011, forming a coalition with the UDP, whose leader Ousainou Darboe is now the Foreign Minister.
Fatty’s GMC party is among the opposition groups that backed Barrow in last year’s election against Jammeh. Jammeh was defeated and forced into exile. Since then, Fatty was seen as the most proactive official in Barrow’s government pursuing Jammeh for corruption and human rights abuses.