As the debate about the controversial Former Presidents Bill rages, the leader of the proscribed Three Years Jotna, Musa Koteh, has said even though it may sound well for an ex-president to live a reasonably comfortable life, he is totally opposed to giving them extravagance as contained in the bill, describing it as back-way to kingship.
In a write-up shared with The Standard, Mr Koteh, also called Kingsport, said: “I do not understand this proposed extravagant allocation which seems so childish for a serious government to put in place. President Barrow should know that even if the MPs adopted this bill, it won’t last. So Barrow has to know that he will not be given such an opportunity, because The Gambia is a poor country and we cannot offer all our money to former presidents”.
Mr Koteh added that those who prepared this bill or gave out the idea are either undermining President Barrow, or trying to show the world that they care less about the tax payers’ money. “We have to understand that the Gambia relies financially on its taxes, international loans and donors. President Adama Barrow should be very mindful of the type of people that surround him with such kind of ideas. So it will be right to say if he is looking for his enemies, he should look no further than these people around him. They are trying to make the public angry against him whilst also tarnishing his image in the international community,” Koteh said.
He also wondered whether the bill is not a ploy to lure former president Yahya Jammeh to come back so that he can answer to his alleged crimes.
He said the very sound of the idea is laughable and it is unthinkable that such bills are tabled before the National Assembly for consideration. “Just few months ago, a similar bill for the judges was tabled before the National Assembly. Imagine a poor country like The Gambia struggling with our basic needs thinking along this line. One would wonder our level of intelligence,” Koteh said.
“Let us not abuse power, let’s learn from the mistakes of the past government. No situation is permanent, and Gambians are no longer sleeping. Let’s stop the scam, and focus all that energy towards the development of our country. We can do better,” Mr Koteh said. He also attacked the opposition NAMs for walking out of the discussion, saying they should have stayed and demanded amendments as they wish.
“But leaving the Assembly did not help matters,” Koteh said.