Darboe and Tangara should set the record straight on Tambajang’s allegation or resign!!!

Alagi Yorro Jallow

Why is Vice President Alhagie Ousainou Darboe and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad, Dr Mamadou Tangara still in office without resigning? Or calling a press conference to repair the damages on their reputation? Or asking for retraction to the allegations made against them? Why are they not exonerating themselves and restoring honor and integrity to the government?

These allegations of abuse of office against them and the government do not meet the highest standard of moral rectitude expected of a leader. The scandalous revelations by the former Vice President Fatoumatta Jallow Tambajang on why she lost her prestigious job are damaging their reputations.

It is not true that only women gossip. Men do it too— especially about the other sex. At a meeting of male animals, Lion complains bitterly that he is not lucky with the wife he has.

“My wife nags and nags,” Lion laments.

“My own steals and lies,” Tiger says.

“My own is promiscuous. She sleeps with any male thing who can muster an erection,” Buffalo joins in the lamentation.

Yet another complains, and another, and another. But an amused Tortoise laughs and tells the beasts of the jungle that they should thank their stars for what they have. His own wife, he says, is worse than all theirs combined.

“What does she do?” the congregation choruses.

“My wife has no shame. She is shameless,” Tortoise bellows.

A sober meeting ponders on Tortoise’s statement. They agree. A shameless person is the very embodiment of all the diseases of the world.

The Gambia is like Tortoise’s wife. It is shameless –and that should explain the revelry which forever warms our bad ways and manners. Lack of shame can be the only explanation for the calm of the nation despite the rancid nakedness of these times.

Vice President Darboe and Foreign Minister Dr Tangara have so far remained silent despite damaging accusations reported widely on newspapers and social media platforms attributed to the former Vice President Fatoumatta Jallow Tambajang. She accused officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, then headed by Ousainou Darboe, of plotting her sacking by fabricating a letter she sent to the UN supporting the job application of a Gambian. Dr. Tangara was the then head of the Gambia’s Permanent Mission at the United Nations.

There comes a time in a person’s life when it becomes necessary to sacrifice oneself for the good of others and if not for that reason, at least to stand for one’s cherished ideals and values by restoring dignity, honor and integrity to government.

Satirical, iconoclastic, or malicious comment, the expression of unpopular or unfashionable opinion about serious or trivial matters, banter or humor, even if distasteful to some or painful to those subjected to it, should and no doubt must continue at their customary level, quite undiminished by the principle of the “right of reply”. When information is inaccurate, unfair, or just “made up” and real people are affected, they should have a right to correct any misleading statements reported in the media.

The golden principle of the “right of reply” has been a fundamental element in the freedom of expression context for a long time. Such a right would mean that if inaccurate information is published about someone in the media then, in certain conditions, that person has the right to have a reply published in the same medium where the original statements were published. This is seen by experts in law and in the media as way of improving public access to information and of ensuring the plurality of opinions published in the press.

Our fundamental belief is that our allegiance should not be with a position, party or person but it must be with the country and its people. Our conscience and patriotism in everything should be directed to choose the country over our individual comfort. In any case, any gesture and avenue to serve The Gambia. And when that becomes difficult due to incongruence of ethics, values and objectives, there could only be one outcome. That outcome is what is repeatedly played by our own conscience when we go to bed to face our own brokenness. And in that moment we must do the right thing with honor and dignity for posterity by resigning.

The Gambia cannot proceed to manage national affairs with cold indifference when the levels of contempt are swelling and being perpetrated by those who are expected to be the solution. Our youths are wallowing in poverty without a clear plan for them while economic, political preferences and opportunities are always tilted in favor of careerist and septuagenarian politicians, reducing Gambians to mere spectators in the economic affairs of the State.

Gambians can no longer be silent listeners to the whispers of greed and indifference making rounds in the corridors of power. The failures of the Gambian political and economic

management do not lie in the individualistic nature of a lot of our politicians, but it is the result of oppressing this individualism to a level where there is consistent effort to suppress individualistic dynamism in preference for collective carelessness and indifference.

When people begin to feel overwhelmed by fear of speaking the truth, it is time to realize that critical fundamentals have shifted. We all have a role to play in making things right. The Vice President and the Foreign Minister need to summon the courage and resign or reply to the damaging accusations and the embarrassment that it continues to bring to the government which are deeply harming our country.

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