By Tabora Bojang
The National Assembly Member for Latrikunda has said that he will give 100 percent support to any bill brought to parliament to grant amnesty to exiled former president Yahya Jammeh.
Last month, President Adama Barrow said he alone cannot facilitate amnesty for Jammeh. Barrow, whose National People’s Party formed a coalition with the former ruling APRC of Jammeh, said any decision to grant amnesty to Jammeh would also involve the Executive and the National Assembly.
“These bodies [Legislature and Executive] should be part of the process, so even if the paper [amnesty] comes to sign, it will not be a matter of President Barrow signing it. The cabinet will sit over it and our advisers will advise us. I believe in due process and rule of law,” Barrow told a radio programme last month.
Speaking to The Standard at the National Assembly, Saikou Marong said he will be the first NAM to support the bill if it comes to parliament especially under an NPP-APRC coalition government.
“In fact, I will not only stop at supporting it but I will lobby to make sure other lawmakers also support it,” Marong said.
Asked if he is not worried about the public security concerns regarding Jammeh’s return, Marong, a former UDP NAM, said it is the duty of the state to make sure enough security is provided.
“But let him [Jammeh] come back and whoever has a case against him go to court and challenge him there. He [Jammeh] is a Gambian like any other Gambian. Look, the issue about we Africans having our ex-presidents staying in exile forever does not make sense and we should forget about it because it is the reason why African leaders would want to remain in power forever because they are not sure of what will befall them after leaving office,” he charged.
Marong, who was elected on a UDP ticket but was dismissed from the party which suspected he was defecting to embrace Barrow’s political agenda, also welcomed the NPP-APRC alliance saying it was formed in the interest of “national peace and reconciliation.”