Barrow and his political associates in the coalition government must respect the agreed 3 years to go back to the polls if they really stand to promote participatory and protective democracy.
Former president, Yahya Jammeh’s 22 years rule came to an end in December, 2016 due the formation of and Opposition Unity/ coalition which presented policies and programmes that served as an alternative to Jammeh’s self-serving government. Therefore, the agreed terms by the coalition seconded by the electorate must be respected especially the 3 year agreement. Jammeh’s long stay in power was fuel by lack of credible opposition parties in the Gambia until its unity to oust his from office.
I was immensely surprise When Ousainou Darboe, leader of United Democratic Party (UDP) threatens to go to court if HE. Barrow accept to relinquish governmental power in 3 years to respect the will of the people and made me to wonder whether he is a democrat or a conservative whose lust for power like Yahya Jammeh and Félix Houphouët-Boigny is incredible.
However, the unconstitutionality of the 3 years should not be narrowly seen. The lawmakers should be flexible enough to make it constitutional in the same way they planned to remove the age limit and reimport term limit and other provisions in the constitution which were unconstitutional.
Furthermore, political party leaders holding ministerial positions should also resign from their parties to deter any action that will erode the constitutional distinction between party and state and self-perpetuating governance which aided both Jammeh and Jawara to rule for decades.
I conclude with a quotation by Hon. Halifa Sallah that “a government that is sincere and mature should be able to explain its policies without promoting narrow nationalism.”
As a concerned citizen, I call on the Gambian government to know that there are more than 9000 Gambians resident in Italy whose welfare is equally important. I call on the Foreign Affairs Minister Darboe, the Interior Minister Fatty and President Barrow to work on that immediately. More than 212 Gambians as of last year’s figures are in prisons, many others are struggling with serious health problems, others over injured by the economic system so seriously that any help from Gambian authorities would be necessary.
I have personally sent several emails to the Office of The Gambian Embassy in Milan and to the Rome address from 2015 to June last year. I am still waiting for a response! In my four-year activities as a student researcher, a traveller, and as a correspondent for Gambian Newspapers especially The Point and now, The Standard, extensively reporting on the welfare of Gambians in Italy, I can say the Office of Gambian Embassy is literally dead and its contribution towards Gambians barely significant.
We Gambians here need an operative office for our welfare and with all the foreign relations between the two countries, it is hypocritical on the side of our government not to be aware of the appealing conditions of Gambians here.