By: Ousman Saidykhan
The Gambia’s Interior Minister, Seyaka Sonko has called on people to be mindful of painting the country “so red” as he believes doing such would only give tourists the impression that the Gambia is not a good destination; an impression he believes would not favour the tourism industry which employs “a lot” [of people].
“Yes, what happened was unfortunate. We don’t really think we should brush that under the carpet, but we should be mindful of how we say it. So that we don’t paint our country so red that no one wants to come here. A lot [of people] depend on the tourism industry,” Honourable Seyaka Sonko told journalists.
Mr Sonko was speaking in his first press conference about the security of the Gambia which has been the talk of the town over the past weeks. The current security situation in the Gambia has been described by some Gambians as unprecedented having witnessed six homicides in a month, a figure that surprises some, yet the Ministry reported a decrease in crime rate.
“I think we should be mindful also that this is the only country we can call home. It is a destination for tourists – it is a destination for our people in Diaspora who want to come here and enjoy their holidays. So, if we depict it as such a horrible place; who wants to come to a horrible place where every minute someone is killed?” the Interior Minister said.
He continued, “that is why when we are talking about these things, we also point out that, yes, these are happening, but comparatively, the trend is not as high as people say.”