By Omar Bah
The leader of the Gambia Moral Congress has advised the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubacarr Tambadou to not allow anyone to use him for political purposes.
“I will remind the Attorney General not to let anyone to use him to use the emergency regulations for political purposes or to score political points,” he told The Standard.
The former special adviser to the president added: “Let me explain what I mean with a little digression. In March 2017, I shared a podium with HonTambadou and former Foreign Minister Hon Ousainu Darboe in London at a meeting with Gambian residents there.
“At the time I was the Minister of Interior. The country was still unstable and volatile.
There were pervasive threats to internal security, stiff defiance from sections of the civil population of the old order against the new regime, a seeming resistance among sections of the security and armed forces and we were on a massive hunt for fugitives.
“My approach to confronting some of these emerging threats, clearly calculated, provocative assault against public security contained an element of utilitarian concept. We needed to be focused, decisively pre-emptive and tough because the times demanded it, and indeed we were. I called it a breach of the law to uphold the law, a principle inspired by my reading of Jeremy Bentham.
“Tambadou supported the need for decisiveness and made a very cautious but reassuring statement in London. He made a powerful promise, an irrevocable commitment that he will not let anybody to use him to use the law to oppress anybody. That earned him additional respect and made me proud for having recommended him to President Barrow for the job.”
He said Minister Tambadou’s legacy will be determined more by how the State “uses” the law for utilitarian purposes, including the practical effect of the emergency regulations, more than any success of the transitional programs.
“I support the regulations proposed by the government. They are necessary to enforce the measures imposed by the President under emergency powers, to better protect the public. To that extent, the government has my full support, and I urge all Gambians to obey them.”
He continued: “There is the other concern that must be addressed. The tendency to overreach is often a trait found among politicians, especially the intolerant ones and incumbents facing the prospects of an electoral defeat. Due to our ugly political experience of twenty-two years, we are not taking any chances, and we should not trust politicians and their appetite for more power.”
Fatty also called on civil society, National Assembly, political parties and citizens to be visibly vigilant in closely monitoring the implementation of the emergency Regulations for the next 45 days.
“I also urge the security and armed forces to act with professionalism and international best practice, in accordance with the law during the next 45 days and beyond. I will entreat them not to allow themselves to be used as pawns in the hands of the State and learn from the lessons of the TRRC. This is a state of public emergency to deal with a pandemic, not civil unrest,” he said.
He said the attitude of government during the public emergency should not reflect as “if we are in a state of political unrest or civil disturbances. This will not be acceptable and it will be resisted. Having said that, we must all put politics aside, work together to save our country.”