Constitutional violations in any form should be repudiated. It should not only be condemned, but it should also be challenged in a court of law. Punitive actions should be taken against such violators in the interest of sustaining and defending democracy. This will no doubt serve as a deterrent to agents of constitutional violation and exploitation.
It is too early for a regime, which accuses former dictator Yahya Jammeh, of undermining the constitution to behave otherwise. President Barrow should self educate himself about the content of the country’s constitution, or consult honest legal minds before making illegal arbitrary pronouncements or decisions.
The new government in the Gambia, is openly and flagrantly abrogating the constitution with impunity. This is the very constitution, which propelled them into power. Now, they are acting outside the dictates of the law. This is evident on President Barrow’s illegal appointment of convicted felons to serve in his cabinet. The illegal hiring of an overage Vice President Fatoumatta Jallow Tambajang, the disbandment of the NIA, now renamed as the State Intelligence Services (SIS) without following due legal process, and the recent mass release of prisoners without following constitutional provisions, just to name a few, is an affront to our constitution.
The lack of respect for the constitution, the supreme law of the land, is a cause for concern. There is no justification for the ongoing violations of the law by the new regime headed by Barrow. Such illegality should be stopped.
The ongoing violations are inexcusable. Laws are meant to be respected. If we really want to see a meaningful, stable and progressive change, the new President should defend and uphold the constitution to the letter. Anything short of that; should be construed as a total betrayal of the very oath of office and allegiance, Mr. Barrow had taken in Senegal.
President Barrow, presiding over the affairs of the state, should not be necessarily misconstrued as him being above the law. Mr. Barrow should respect the laws of the land, if he really wants to usher a lasting political legacy that the world and Gambians in general, would be proud of.
What’s happening right now in the Gambia, amounts to constitutional raping. There are “unpardoned”felons serving in Mr. Barrow’s cabinet. Whether the likes of Foreign Minister Ousainou Darboe, Finance Minister Amadou Sanneh, and Local Government Minister Lamin Dibba, were jailed legally or illegally by the former Jammeh status quo, the onus lies on Barrow to follow what the constitution says about the pardoning of prisoners. There is no formal pardoning of the felons currently serving Barrow’s cabinet. That alone is a constitutional violation. Mr. Barrow, ought to have consulted with the Committee in charge of prison management in the Gambia, and the Attorney General, before releasing the political prisoners. If there should be any pardoning of the prisoners, it should be gazetted. That’s what the law says.
Gambia, we are in trouble! The new president is either uneducated, ignorant of his actions, or he is being manipulated by some dishonest elites. He is not being properly advised.
Mr. Barrow has appointed an Attorney General in the person of Bai Tambadou, but Bai, has not been formally sworn in. Bai’s own biological brother Sheriff Tambadou, is the acting President of the Bar Association. Ba’s brother administered Barrow’s Oath in Dakar. That stinks; right?
Ba Tambadou, himself has contributed to President Barrow’s election campaign, according to sources. He was part of a Gambian professional mailing list group, which donated an unspecified amount of money to the opposition during the political campaign. Gambia, can you sense a possible conflict of interest here? What happens to the doctrine of separation of power and ethics?
No wonder that’s why the lame duck Gambia Bar Association under the leadership of Sheriff Tambadou, is mute over President Barrow’s constitutional violations. The Bar should serve as a watchdog to the government, but under the circumstances, the Gambian Bar is a disservice to the country. We expect the Bar not to only make a denunciation of Barrow’s leadership excesses, but it should also challenge any violation of the constitution in the courts.
Dictatorship is gradually creeping in this country. President Barrow, has no legal mandate to open our prison gates without following the dictates of the constitution. He also has no right to announce the dissolution of the NIA, without formally repealing of Decree 45. Decree 45, is still alive and kicking. And yet this legally ill-advised President is telling us that there is no more NIA! Absurd!
President Barrow, should accept that without a properly constituted Parliament, which is consist of MPS affiliated with the Transition government, he cannot legally repeal any law or act otherwise. Unless, he wants to take the rogue dictatorial route, he has limited powers at this time. He is heading a government mainly dominated by legally elected APRC MPS. He should not make the mistake to circumvent the constitution to suit his own political expediency. That might amount to an impeachable offence.
Under the circumstances, President Barrow, doesn’t have the required Parliamentarians to move any bill or repeal some of the draconian laws passed by the former regime of Yahya Jammeh. He is either pretending or behaving as if he can unilaterally make verbal pronouncements or proclamations that would be construed as the law of the land. Gambians are not that stupid or gullible to accept such an illegal narrative coming from a leader, who has proven to be inept based on his utterances and comportment. Only his blinded supporters will accept such an assault on our constitution. Gambians with conscience should resent against such culture of illegality. We should demand for the respect of the rule of law.
Ousainou Darboe, is a career lawyer. He ought to know better. If he is honest with himself, he ought to have declined the appointment availed to him by Barrow, and insist that the felony conviction rap sheet on his belt, should be expunged from the law books first before he would take up any government appointment.
So far what is happening is not promising. There is a clear case of a documented violation of the constitution. We expect the new government to be transparent, accountable, and law abiding. If this regime is left unchallenged, we are extending an open invitation to another dictatorship. All forms of violations should be exposed, including official corruption. We should also desist from politics of mystification and personality cult.
The ongoing erection of billboards carrying President Barrow’s image across the country, is another form of promoting politics of personality cult. Dictator Yahya Jammeh was doing the same thing. And it appears that President Barrow is enjoying such cheap political patronage extended to him. Millions of dalasis is being wasted on marketing Barrow’s image locally. This is really uncalled for.. This is a poor country, in which the average Gambian lives below one dollar a day. There is massive unemployment. The health sector is completely crippled. The economy is dead. The infrastructure is decayed. The President should discourage citizens, or businesses from wasting millions on his image. Such misplaced priorities amount to national disservice. We rest our case!