The new PPP has zero-tolerance for deception. Hon SannaJawara analysis was grossly misleading.

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The new PPP has zero-tolerance for deception. Hon SannaJawara analysis was grossly misleading.

I was listening to the brunch on Saturday, July 11, and hear a statement made by Hon. Sanna Jawara concerning debate surrounding the local government amendment bill 2020 and he said; “I want to takes us back to the whole issue of this provision in the local government act 2002 as well section 91 (1) D of 1997 constitution most of this bills are introduced to address a circumstance. Going back to 1970 there were no such laws and what happened then was the Jawara administration abused the lack of this provision and killed the small parties during the PPP regime. They will let members go in areas where they no they have no support and via on their party tickets only to come to parliament as members of parliament and make them cross carpet and offer them ministerial positions. Hassan Musa Camara was one of those, MC Cham was one of those, one Hon Kanteh I think was one of those who have resigned from UP and cross carpeted to PPP and eventually UP was left with only 3 members of parliament that discouraged Sir Pierre Njie to even go home and not come back to parliament and eventually he was expelled from parliament because he didn’t come for three seating or ten seating at the time. In that case, what happened was the Jawara Administration was able to dominate the political scene and stayed in power for over 30yrs and they could have been there for another 30yrs nobody could have been able to remove them from power. So then Jammeh came and then introduce this law and safeguard all the parties not only APRC but other political parties too. So if you go to kiang and via under UDP if ever you vacate or leave UDP you will vacate your seat.” Sanna Jawara

The above statement is completely deceitful hence the reason I wanted to correct Hon. Sanna Jawara. Sir Dawda who was the defender of democracy in Africa had been a strong advocate of multiparty democracy; The Gambia was among the few countries in Africa that were conducting an election every 5yrs. Sir Dawda could have easily introduced a one-party rule, for he had all the opportunities at the time. So I see no reason why he will abuse his powers or come up with a strategy to kill any political party. 

Hon Sanna failed to point to any provision of law that was in the 1970 constitution or brought in by the PPP government to allow parliamentarian to cross carpet to benefit PPP. In a democracy elected officials are at liberty to leave their parties if they found at any time the party and their ideology are not in line. I have never seen anywhere in the world where there is democracy elected officials are punished for simply leaving their parties. I challenge him if he knows any act of parliament or law in the 1970 constitution of such nature let him point to it.

Hon. Sanna is simply trying to defend his voting against the local government amendment bill 2020, and he is now looking for all opportunities to justify his vote. Using PPP and Sir Dawda as an example was very improper, for PPP will never support bad law and I am glad that our members of parliament voted to repeal the bad law as he himself called it. While Hon. Sanna has the right to promote the agenda of his party, should do so without accusing PPP and Sir Dawda. I am simply trying to defend my party to ensure viewers and listeners of The Brunch are not been misled by the statement of Hon. Sanna Jawara. Lawmakers votes based on their conscience, because they swore to protect and defend the constitution of the Gambia, not to theirpolitical party constitutions. I will like to remind Hon. SannaThis quote by Sir Dawda “power must be guided by law and society must be governed by conscience” 

Hearing such comments I have to engage few historians and some former officials in the Jawara regime to clarify such a misleading statement by Hon. Sanna. He uses Assan Musa Camara and MC Cham as an example of cross carpeting to PPP, but that is precisely erroneous Assan Musa did not cross carpet to join the PPP because of a position in Government. He was part of the Democratic/Congress Alliance that formed a coalition with PPP just like IM Garba Jahumpa. MC Cham only joined the PPP when it became clear that his Party Leader PS Njie of the United Party lost interest in politics and his Party became ineffective. MC Cham is still alive to attest to it, in fact during his testimony at the TRRC he makes it very clear that he joined the PPP because his party leader then became ineffective and they wanted him to lead the UP party, but at the time he was too young and not experience enough to lead a party and later decided to join the PPP. Another Person who crossed carpeted to PPP was Hon. Dodou Taal who is still live, just like MC Cham Hon. Dodou Taal cross carpeted to PPP because United Party became very weak nationally. I can confirm that Hon. Dodoujoined PPP at his own accord and at the time has no interest in being a minister, for at the time he was earning more than the ministers. PPP has also suffered when the former Vice President Hon. Sheriff Dibba left PPP to form his own party while he was a member of parliament under the PPP ticket, and his party became the main opposition party against the PPP regime. Sir Dawda and PPP never punished Hon. Sheriff Dibba. PPP believed members of Parliaments should be independent of their parties. Ironically I still cannot fathom why honorable SannaJawara will vote to repeal a law to protect himself while denying other elected officials.

The PPP Government never at any time tried to amend the 1970 Constitution to suppress opposition. Jabel Sallah who was a United Party Member of Parliament was very vocal in Parliament against The PPP Government and yet, Sir Dawda would often send some of his officials to encouraged JabelSallah to be harder on his Ministers during Parliamentary debates. Sir Dawda fired a Minister who was accused of corruption as well as Minister who made a false statement to back a supporter on a passport application. He allowed the Minister to be tried in court and jailed for six months which ended his political carrier. 

When AU decided to open a Center for Democracy and Human and People’s Rights, it was decided to choose The Gambia because of the Country’s respect for Democracy and People’s Rights and the foremost country in Africa that guaranteed the rights to its people and others around the World. Two years before the Despicable 1994 Coup, A world survey of all country around the globe, the results listed The Gambia as one of the five most democratic countries in the world and included all Western Democracies and all under the thoughtful leadership of Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara and his commitment to the respect of Human Rights, Rule of Law and full and unfettered Democracy.

We want Gambian people to understand that when the new Gambia was born, a new PPP was as well-born and one of our fundamental responsibilities is not to win elections only, but to defend the great legacy of Sir Dawda, former officials of the PPP government, and our greatest party (PPP). As mentioned by Sir Dawda “PPP was not merely a party that happened to be in power; as a movement, we had a mission. We had since the party’s inception in 1959 espoused a cause, a national cause; we had opted for a body of beliefs, ideas, and principles by which we had always stood.” 

Kebba L Nanko

PPP Co-coordinator USA Chapter

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