The alleged picture over the weekend made rounds on social media with children wearing T-shirts bearing the portrait of President Adama Barrow – a situation that was greeted with string of condemnations particularly among some opposition leaders.
Lamin Fatty, in an interview with The Point, said the CPA as a child protection agency might not have the substantial evidence to accuse the presidential convoy for the alleged arrangement of the said children to welcome the president, but said that the matter will be thoroughly investigated to ascertain the reason of their involvement in the presidential welcoming procession.
“As for now, we cannot conclude by accusing the presidential convoy for the arrangement of children to welcome the president as there are no clear proofs of who brought them there.
“But this again will not stop us as an agency to investigate the cause of their involvement as teenagers in order to come up with a condemnation statement."
“We know that it is also a right of a child to participate in community or national services that do not affect his or her wellbeing. So it is also advisable for the parents to take care of their children and never allow them to take part in occasions that can hamper their protection as minors.
“And it is not fair to say children are arranged only on presidential issues but even other opposition parties do have children on their campaign activities climbing on top of the cars which we have been condemning for many years,” he said.
The leader of the Gambia Moral Congress Party (GMC), Mai Ahmed Fatty in his statement of condemnation wrote: “This is illegal, immoral, inexcusable and unacceptable. It is unlawful under the Children’s Act. These kids are being substantially exploited and physically abused by exposing them potentially to grave harm along a heavy-duty-traffic highway.
“From their faces, they look perplexed, hungry, thirsty, exhausted and clueless. Loot at the feet of some of them… not even proper shoes. I am outraged. I condemn this intentional child exploitation by the NPP,’’ he announced.