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An open letter to President Barrow on corruption

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Dear Editor,

Mr President, I hope this open letter finds you well. As a concerned citizen, I am writing to express my deep care for the future and well-being of our beloved nation, The Gambia. I commend your administration’s efforts in addressing various challenges facing our country and advancing positive changes, especially your commitment to democratic values and the rule of law.

However, I would like to draw your attention to the issue of corruption, which is of great concern to many citizens, including myself. Corruption has been a persistent challenge in our society and its negative effects on our economy, institutions, and social fabric cannot be overstated.

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I appreciate the steps your administration has taken to combat corruption, including the plans to establish the Anti-Corruption Commission. I believe that a strong commitment to transparency and accountability is essential for our nation’s development.

Therefore, I respectfully urge your administration to continue and strengthen its fight against corruption by ensuring that the proposed Anti-Corruption Commission has the necessary resources and independence to effectively carry out its mandate. Also, implementing and enforcing anti-corruption laws and regulations rigorously, promoting transparency in government transactions and procurement processes, encouraging a culture of reporting corruption and protecting whistleblowers, and providing adequate training and resources for public servants to uphold ethical standards.

Moreover, I suggest that your administration engages civil society organisations, including anti-corruption NGOs such as Gambia Participates, in collaborative efforts to address corruption and promote good governance. Their expertise and commitment can complement government initiatives.

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I believe that with continued dedication and collective action, we can make significant strides in combating corruption and ensuring a brighter future for The Gambia. I am confident your leadership can bring about the positive change our nation deserves.

Thank you for your attention to this critical issue as outlined in this open letter, and I look forward to witnessing the progress that our great nation, the Gambia, will make under your leadership.

Saidina Alieu Jarjou

Serekunda

Imposing stupid laws in the country is not the definition of the rule of law in a democracy

Dear Editor,

We don’t need a fatwa in our democracy to legitimise or outlaw FGM in The Gambia. Nor Madi Jobarteh attacking the Supreme Islamic Council and Imam Fatty. All that is needed is a representative democratic governance system in The Gambia. It’s insane to criminalise FGM in The Gambia – it’s an unrepresentative legislation and therefore undemocratic.

Madi Jobarteh, Isatou Touray, the NGO lobby, the Christian Council, Pastor Forbes and the pseudo scientists and campaigners, hello, The Gambia is a democracy. You can’t superimpose stupid laws in the country and say it’s scientific and that’s what the law says. Well, the Covid vaccines are scientific, aren’t they?

FGM is a proven scientific fact to be bad and inhumane and should be criminalised in The Gambia – that’s a stupid argument. We don’t need the Supreme Islamic Council passing fatwas in The Gambia. The Gambia is a democracy. What’s the basis of the fatwa from the Supreme Islamic Council on FGM? Some Muslims practise FGM and some don’t. The so-called fatwa has no legs to stand on.

We need significant political reforms in The Gambia the first of which is to introduce a parliamentary democracy. Madi Jobarteh, Isatou Touray, Pastor Forbes, the Christian Council, pseudo scientists and campaigners: The Gambia is a democracy.

Imam Fatty and the Supreme Islamic Council seemed to have undue influence in our democracy. These people and the institutions they represent have no legal powers to hold the government accountable and transparent. We have seen them under Jammeh when killing innocent Gambian for political reasons was okay for them somehow.

We don’t have a very good political governance system and democratic discourse standards in The Gambia.  Madi Jobarteh, Isatou touray and the self-appointed governors of The Gambia are having free pass because our democracy is dysfunctional.

Imam Fatty strikes resonance with the public from his popular but cheap interventions in Gambian politics (social affairs) because the government is useless, the opposition is hopeless and the national political governance discourse standards are very low.

The main opposition in The Gambia doesn’t seem to understand what politics is about in opposition to win over the support of the electorate. Nor the political points to talk about, capture the political imagination of the electorate and hold the government accountable on the burning issues of the day. And setting out the opposition’s own alternative political agenda for change.

The Supreme Islamic Council, the Christian Council, Madi Jobarteh, Isatou Touray and Pastor Forbes and Baba Leigh, anyone recognised any of these names as politicians or anyone having voted for them in The Gambia?

The Gambia is a democracy – pseudo scientists, unelected lobby groups and deluded private Gambians cannot determine how The Gambia should be governed. I just wish the UDP as the main opposition has some balls and say something sensible and more reasonable on how The Gambia should be governed as a representative democracy.

Imposing stupid anti democratic laws in the country is not the definition of the rule of law. Instead, it undermines public trust and confidence in the justice system in a democracy.

For a democracy to be stable and the people largely law-abiding and tolerant, the laws and policies governing the country should be representative, diligent and intelligent. You can’t impose stupid laws in the country and called that the rule of law!

Yusupha ‘Major’ Bojang

Scotland, UK

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