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Tuesday, November 28, 2023

‘I am committed to the 3-year Coalition agreement’

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By Omar Bah

Mai Fatty, leader of the Gambia Moral Congress, has disclosed that he is committed to the three-year transition agreed by the members of the Coalition.
“You know what makes a human being and serves your legacy is to respect and honor your commitment. If you respect and honor your commitment, then you are a full human being. But if you violate your commitment and discredit your honor then that is up to you,” he told The Standard in an exclusive interview recently.

convention as independent and separate political entities, our delegates voted on a time frame of three years. That was what the political parties swore to…And in fact, I think it was one of the most fundamental facilitators of our unity. We also went round the country and campaigned for three years and when then candidate-elect Barrow was nominated at IEC, he committed himself to the three-year framework and that was what he told journalists when he was questioned because I was standing by his side,” Mai Fatty said.

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Fatty further said “the test of honour is sincerity to agreements and commitments freely entered into with your peers. Opting out of honourable commitments relied upon by your peers out of convenience, or reneging on exchanged promises without consultation says a lot. No one should under-estimate anybody because you believe in your perceived strength. It is unwise for a politician to burn bridges, especially with your friends and allies. Politics is unpredictable, and anything could happen.”

He further stated that anything created through genuine dialogue should not be unilaterally altered by one party without proper, sincere, objective consultative dialogue used to create the first agreement.
“That is the dictate, even by Allah. For me, the voice from above will provide the best judgment in such matters,” he argued.
“I want to believe President Barrow is committed to his honor and his honor was he is going to serve for three-year transition. If he wants to go for five years, that is constitutional entities nobody would say that is criminal,” he added.


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His time as Minister
Fatty also disclosed that he was able to secure a whopping D90, 000,000 for the Interior Ministry within three months in office.
“Despite all the talks and rumors about Mai here and there, this was a minister who was able to secure D90M for the Ministry of Interior in three months in office…Of course I have to say through the support of President Adama Barrow.
“…And a single butut of this D90M was not spent during my tenure as Minister of Interior,” he stated.
He said the money, which was directly negotiated by him was intended to strengthen internal security especially the police force.


Faraba incident
The GMC leader said it is illegal and immoral to shoot at armless civilians. “It is indefensible. We need to understand one thing here, why were they supplied with live bullets? That is what I did not understand. That is where the fatal mistake started.”
“It is implicit that when you give them live armor and they are cornered for the preservation of their own lives, if they feel that there are imminent threats to their lives, they maybe conditioned to shoot even if they did not want to. Because it is a natural instinct that nobody wants to die,” he argued.

“Maybe there were stones and missiles thrown everywhere. But if they were supplied with enough rubber bullets and teargas to enable them defend themselves, the incident would have been avoided.”
He said it will be interesting to know who ordered the shooting, “That has to be very clear. It should also be clear to what was their specific orders…What were they asked to do?
“There must be command chain of responsibility. Who issued them with the weapons they went with? Was there any assessment? Who is in charge of these people? Who is the commander of the PIU? Who is in charge of the armory? Who actually supplied the armory when they were living? Under what circumstances? What kind of pressure were they facing? These are issues that ought to be fundamentally answered.”
On the team of inquiry set up by the president to probe into the killings in Faraba, Fatty said the president has to be commended for it. “I believe he is going to act on the recommendations they would make after the investigations.”

Although he refused to name names, Fatty said he would not like to see two agencies that are in the commission “because with those two institutions in the commission, the independence of the commission is diluted. So I would like to see a more independent investigation that would be manned by purely independent persons and institutions.”
“If you are implicated in a situation you cannot investigate yourself,” he argued.

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