There is a renewed support for calls to bring back the first and only minister ousted from President Adama Barrow’s cabinet, just two months into his abrupt and surprising firing from the unity government.
Supporters of the erstwhile Minister of Interior, Mai Ahmad Fatty are demanding his reinstatement after clashes erupted between the opposition and government supporters for the second time in fewer than three months.
Fatty, who was criticized for showing a strongman persona and aggressively quelling post-electoral skirmishes in the country’s southwestern Foni region, is seen as the person with the right strict attitude needed to suppress supporters of the ex-autocratic ruler, Yahya Jammeh.
He won the leadership of his GMC party, which has backed Barrow’s candidacy to win Jammeh in 2016, for the second time. He pledged to continue supporting the agenda of the unity government but has not hidden his efforts to remain a key political influencer.
Fatty visited the hotspot of the clashes, Busumbala, on Friday where he met with the Imam and other elders of the village in a show of solidarity with the government supporters. He prayed Friday prayers in the Busumbala mosque and received praises from the villagers for showing support.
President Barrow has promoted Fatty’s replacement, Habib Saihou Drammeh to his Chief of Staff and the Civil Service. He has appointed his cousin and brother-in-law Ebrima Mballow as the new Minister of Interior.
Mr. Barrow has been warned to get a grip on the security services in the country, part of which still remains very loyal to former President Jammeh. He has jumpstarted a security sector reform with the help of the UN system and the European Union.
At least a dozen soldiers are now facing a court-martial accused of plotting to overthrow him and have the ex-leader reinstated. Two of those accused of leading the plot are relatives of the ex-President Jammeh.