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Monday, June 17, 2024

Letters: Seeking the renewal of the social contract

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Dear editor,
The power of sovereignty is openly manifested and acknowledged by those seeking to secure the votes of eligible Gambian voters in the 4 December 2021 presidential election. As can be seen from their desperate attempts to influence the voter registration exercise, there are political desperadoes running helter-skelter to every nook and corner of this country to get anybody eligible or not, registered.

Others are employing intimidating tactics to scare non-Gambians and minors from taking part in the exercise. All these frantic efforts are being made to enable their political interests, for us as independent, sober and patriotic citizens, we need to put on our evaluation microscope to either jettison or approve of any politician base on workable policies and personalities, and for the incumbent, to evaluate words against deeds, promises against tangibles, prospects against failures in taking the all-important decision of either renewing or terminating the social contract .
It is a time that needs us to wear our hearts and gather our thoughts and make that decision that has the potential to take us to the promised land or to the dooms land. So, partisanship, regionalism, nepotism, tribalism and every other “ism” must become a non determinant; and patriotism, public interest, sovereignty, dignity and integrity become preoccupants of our mind and drivers to making this strategic decision.

We must assume our rightful responsibilities to help take a better decision that have direct bearing on our livelihoods and indeed the future of our progeny, we must assume all the blame if we fail once again.

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It is therefore, an inherently guaranteed right of all sound minded and statutory mandated Gambians to get to the registration centre and get registered in order to exercise our franchise, that franchise that would be entrusted to politicians to make or take decisions on our behalf.

In order to actualise these rights, all stakeholders must see each other as facilitators, collaborators and partners and not as impediment for the successful conduct of the registration exercise. This is the first and very pertinent stage of the electioneering process so there must not be any room for speculation, insinuations, avoidable errors or political leaning from the Independent Electoral Commission as it could be very costly to our dear motherland. Concerns are being raised about minors’ registration, misspelt names, bogus issuance of attestation and interference in the process. It is entirely the call for IEC together with the relevant authorities to safeguard its integrity, its credibility and impartiality by addressing these anomalies in the swiftest of time, and in no uncertain terms in default of which the institution would be seen as complicit.

Party agents are key stakeholders as representatives of political parties and therefore their participation in ensuring a transparent process must not be interpreted as a privilege but rather an inherent right guaranteed by the Constitution.

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They should have unrestricted access to all the data and also meticulously verify who gets registered and who’s not required to do so by law. The law must take its course and that means the law reigns supreme above anyone regardless of status, it should and must not be used as an instrument to violate legitimate rights of party agents, CSOs and other interest groups in the name of so-called interference.

We have come too far from what we’ve experienced and must not retard nor slide backwards for the stakes are too high at the moment. The maintenance of peace and tranquility is tied to this election which rests entirely on the soulders of IEC.

IEC’s conduct will determine the political fortunes and future of this great country; and their independence, integrity, credibility and efficacy will be key in this regard and, I hope a repeat of the 2016 presidential election would be averted.

To the politicians, assume your responsibilities at the right time and address your concerns. Do not wait until the die is cast and start a political fiasco.

The stakes are high and the decisions we take have the potential to make or break the country, and I believe all well-meaning citizens want to make this country and not break it.
By Karamo Marena


The man who cheated his party, cheated the Gambia and cheated himself: President Adama barrow – 2016-2021

Dear editor,
President Adama Barrow. I’ll start by saying that those words are hard to write. You are definitely not worthy of that title! Respect is not granted or bestowed to a president but needs to be earned by upholding the constitution, being trustworthy, giving respect, protecting all Gambians, and provide leadership that makes a positive change for all Gambians.
Maybe you need to be reminded that during your inauguration you made a promise to the people of The Gambia to stay in office for only three years, yet you’ve reneged on your electoral promise and political agreement. You’ve lied and cheated the people and we shouldn’t be calling you President at this point! However, if you acted like a head of state you would have respect but you’ve acted like a jester and have people’s laughter and no respect.
You need to leave the civil service to be independent. Just because you have different political and ideological views with other Gambians doesn’t give you the license to remove, intimidate, or redeploy them. You do not own The Gambia but instead are a master servant of the people. Leave our institutions alone and stop being greedy for power. Redirect your attentions on giving the Gambia and her people unshakable security and safety, great health care, a mechanised agriculture where Gambians would grow and feed themselves, and opportunities for youth employment. Anything short of these would be regarded as a disservice to the country and the people you swore to serve and an utter nonsense of political razzmatazz that has detrimentally harmed, sickened, and weakened our dear country and people!
The Fraud instigated by National People’s Party(NPP) in registering minors and foreigners can generate violence between your party supporters, opponents of other parties, and some communities your supporters used to do such dirty errands.
In electoral systems, voter registration is supposed to be the requirement that a person otherwise eligible to vote must register on an electoral roll, which is usually a prerequisite for being entitled or permitted to vote. However, the rules governing registration may vary between jurisdictions.
Electoral fraud, sometimes referred to as election manipulation, voter fraud or vote rigging, involves illegal interference with the process of an election, either by increasing the vote share of a favored candidate, depressing the vote share of rival candidates, or both.
The Constant violations of Village Heads by blatantly registering minors and foreigners in Niamina Sambang and across the country is a recipe for violence in post-election come December 5th 2021.
You Mr Adama Barrow have been the most ungrateful Commander-In-Chief that I have ever seen with pettiness and arrogance. It is deplorable and utterly shocking that you don’t respect or acknowledge that Gambians gave you everything you have, including your wardrobe and toiletries. What more could you ask from Gambians, the people who gave you greatness? This too is un-Islamic and thus a huge sin against Nature!
I know Elections in developing countries like The Gambia often fail to meet acceptable standards of fairness, and this in turn can result in protest, violence, and fragility.
Politicians like you Adama Barrow frequently curtail legitimate electoral practices through corrupt manipulation of the vote, particularly when you perceive voters who are highly motivated to unseat you. Therefore, any fraudulent activities done by you or your supporters can be an incentive for violence between government security forces and opposition party supporters, thereby activating a security dilemma between and within individuals that promotes your illicit activities.
Do you think Allah is pleased with you or the state that you’ve put The Gambia in? I think not. Do you feel good? I hope not but yet I know your ego and self-serving self isn’t man enough to be honest with yourself. You have put your personal gain and glory above the People of The Gambia.
You’ve pretty much lied about everything promised to Gambians ranging from the 3 years transitional mandate to the ‘never to run again’ slogan, to the 69 mosques within the country, the construction of Banjul Barra bridge, refusals to implement the Janneh Commission, Faraba Banta Commission and several other Commissions, the Brikama wifi network. All those are empty talks.
Civil servants must not engage into politics but we have seen time and time again these people campaigning for you.
You have contravened the fact that both Chiefs and Alkalos refrain from politics, yet these local chiefs or village heads became your political propagandists! Why should Gambians listen to you, a Head of state who broke every promise he’s made?
Gambians should be tired of such a characteristic of a man we entrust our highest office to, but a man who doesn’t do any self reckoning.
Therefore, Mr President Barrow, you do not have the interest of the Gambia but rather you are on a self-enrichment venture at the State House. Thanks to you we can no longer advise and inculcate good morals in our kids.
Corruption is endemic in your 5-year government than Yahya Jammeh’s 22 years of dictatorship. If we dare entrust you 5 more years to steer the affairs of our country, I swear there would not be anything left called The Gambia. We as Gambians must not allow our country to be colonised by Senegal and the Chinese because of the do-nothing sleeping President. It’s about time Gambians drop you like a hot potato by voting you out of office to make our founding fathers and ancestors proud.

Ensa AB Ceesay
Olympia, Washington

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