The minister of Justice, Abubacarr Tambadou has rejected calls on social media for him to resign over his leaked application letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs requesting diplomatic passports for a few members of his family.
Responding to one Omar Janneh, carried by Community of Gambianist Scholars listserv, Tambadou said:
“I was advised by MoFA that the President can, exceptionally, grant approval for the issuance of diplomatic passports to individuals based on a number of considerations.
I followed that advice and formally sought that approval in writing transparently which was granted.
I wonder when a mere formal request for an approval for anything has become illegal or undermines anyone’s integrity to warrant a resignation.
If there is any fault, and I am not saying there is, that ought to be directed at the approving authority and not the requestor.
I merely asked for a privilege that I was told could be extended to a sitting cabinet minister’s family, and my request was clear about the reasons.
It was the responsibility of those entrusted with such decisions to either approve or disapprove.
It was approved.
End of story! To now turn it around as if I have done something so wrong as to warrant my resignation from office betrays a more sinister and personal animosity.
For what reasons? I have no idea!
My family and I DO NOT need a diplomatic passport to travel around the world.
We have been doing so in the past and we will continue to do so after my services with Government end someday soon inshallah.
It is disappointing that instead of focusing on the more serious issue of the unlawful sale of passports, we are expending our intellectual energy on a very legitimate request with a legitimate approval from legitimate Government officials.
It is petty and low but for the fact that it was sent on a shared platform, I would not have dignified such comments with a response.
The fact that I only sought the passports two and a half years after my appointment tells its own story for those who care about the truth.
Let me assure Mr Janneh and others of one thing, you can dive to the bottom of the ocean to search but you will never find anything that will stain me.
I was before, and inshallah, I shall be after.”