Dear Editor,

President Adama Barrow’s Independence Day address centered on Sovereignty. According to Mr Barrow  “The Gambia’s attainment of Political Independence on 18th February, 1965 was chiefly about sovereignty and self-determination,” and he went on to states that “ Our sovereignty should be measured, therefore, by the extent of our security as a nation and as individuals,”.  Mr Barrow falsely claimed that his “ Administration will continue to defend the sovereignty of the country, and protect the freedoms and liberties of the people”.
President Adama Barrow’s entire speech was bizarre, inappropriate and deceptive. The meaning of his statement : “our sovereignty should be measured therefore by the extent of our security as a nation and as individuals” is an indication that Mr Barrow did not know what he was talking about and was inappropriate to address the nation about sovereignty when we have foreign security forces in the country. The Gambia’s security currently is in the hands of foreign occupying forces, thus our national security is entirely determined by foreign forces who are funded by foreign powers. Sovereignty is not only about political parties and abilities for citizens to elect leaders but also about total control of territorial integrity and affairs of the country as far as national security and domestic affairs are concerned. Our self-determination which is the right of citizens to make informed decision on national issue was rejected by the president and his cronies when they refused to accept the new draft constitution. The rejection of such an important document is further demonstration that this administration has no respect for self-determination. The administration engagement and invitation of so called foreign leaders who are negotiating aspects of the rejected draft constitution and to make recommendations or decision on behalf of Gambian people is against the principle of self-determination and sovereignty. The Gambian people across the globe have determined that they wanted to have new constitution during process of drafting the new constitution. The Constitution Review Commission ( CRC ) did widely consulted with Gambians. President Barrow could not make intelligent decision on this new draft constitution due to political expediency but has to invite foreign leaders to clean up his mess after national outrage is indeed pathetic. Both our political and national security decisions are influenced and determined by foreign leaders. Recently ECOWAS leaders without consultation with Gambian people and political leaders unilaterally decided to extend the mandate of Ecomig forces to police stabilization forces beyond 2021 presidential election. The citizens  and political leaders should have been widely consulted before such an important national security decision is made. In fact it should have been debated in our National Assembly and decision reached before ECOWAS decision. Therefore, our current political and national security situations are true indication that our sovereignty and self-determination as a nation is undermined and hijacked. Mr Barrow needs to be honest in his speech to the nation but cannot continue to educate false narratives to young people and general public. The theme of this year Independence Day speech was indeed a very deceptive considering the political and security situations in the country as suggested earlier . No doubt, Mr Barrow came with this theme because he has limited knowledge about the subject of his speech. Mr Barrow needs to surround himself with people with integrity and intelligent who truly understand policies, international laws, politics as well as socioeconomic needs of the Gambian people. It is pathetic to see him appointed individuals with six grade education as a policy and political advisers.
Thank you
Maxs Jarju
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