Interesting argument from my brother Melville Robertson Roberts on Sidia Jatta’s interview yesterday @ Fatunetwork.
Firstly Mel, I wish to draw your attention to the fact that the Coalition was built around democratic principles and values with intent for good governance. This includes making appointments based on merits without parochial considerations. This is why the Coalition agreed based on principle that there has to be collective consultation in the formulation of Cabinet.
Essentially, a Vetting Committee was established to assess the suitability and qualifications of each candidate for each portfolio. This is something Sidia missed out to say in his interview. Therefore, it was morally wrong for any Coalition stakeholder to demand that he ‘MUST’ be given a position of choice, without assessing his competence. In essence, that should have been the beginning of demonstrating collective responsibility, by making collective decisions. Also, no one is making a legal argument that what Darboe did was illegal.
Let’s make a quick comparison here. If both Darboe and Jatta were interested in the Foreign Affairs portfolio, who deserves the position based on merit? We know that Darboe is a career lawyer and Jatta is a linguist and a researcher.
There is no doubt that many countries now prefer candidates who can speak multiple languages for international relations and diplomatic appointments. Jatta is fluent in all the major international languages including English, French, Deutch and Arabic. And, Darboe is fluent in only English. Who in his right mind would pick Darboe over Jatta?
The second point of your argument is the notion of collective responsibility on the failure of the Coalition. This is not a new argument, which is usually made by apologists of those who destroyed the Coalition. My answer to this argument has always been that collective indictment is the height of injustice. I want you to point out one example PDOIS is guilty of for the failure of the Coalition. The complexity many of you cannot address is a Coalition that was built around a non-legally binding agreement, and won to govern based on binding national laws. In essence, the existence of the Coalition in the process of governances revolves around the wishes of the President, and other political actors.
Notwithstanding, the competing political interests that came into play dissipated and undermined the Coalition objectives. It must be clear that PDOIS is an exception.
I am not a student of international law, but I know that international law evolves from customary law. In short, a crime that involves many actors must first be investigated individually before looking at collective responsibility. Again, I will ask, what role did PDOIS play in the disintegration of the Coalition?
By Kexx Sanneh