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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Letters:NHRC should not be dissolved

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Dear editor,

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Calling for the dissolution of the National Human Rights Commission is a very bad idea, but I am calling on the commissioners to withdraw their report and write a new one. Gay and lesbian rights are not an issue in The Gambia and I cannot fathom why the human right commissions would put it in their report in the first place. Issues that are of paramount importance are the rights of Gambians and that are what they should have focused on not gay and lesbian rights. Therefore they should blame themselves for the public backlash.
The National Human rights Commission probably needs a media team that will be vetting their messages for them before making them public. Information in a democracy must be vetted by reading it aloud before publication. The Gambia is a conservative nation when it comes to universal human rights, therefore they should take issues in piecemeal and the focus must be on the protection of rights of Gambian citizens as they are established to protect and promote human rights issues in The Gambia.

I am very sorry for Imam baba Leigh who happens to be the sacrificial lamb in all this debacle. My advice for Imam Baba Leigh is to ignore the politicians calling on him to resign and continue serving in the commission but advocate for his commission to consider withdrawing the recommendation they sent to the National Assembly on this subject, and the National Assembly and the government must disregard the report in its totality, and focus on issues that are relevant to Gambians.

The Mandinka proverb rhetorically asks: “Word, why did you speak about me when it is not the right time to speak about me?” This is the dilemma the human rights commission finds itself in. The commission should be there to protect Gambian cultures, values, norms, and so forth, as the human rights for Gambians. The commission is established primarily to protect and promote the rights of Gambians, not the world, although one may argue that the Gambia is not an island, so we must adhere to universal human rights issues in the world, but certainly, in my opinion, that is not the role of the national human rights commission, their role and focus should be to protect the rights of Gambians, that is to do with anything that Gambian is known for as people.

They should be advising government as to which laws are customary to The Gambia and which laws they should consider when it comes to universal human rights, but in this case, they appeared to be undermining the culture, and values of Gambian people by mentioning something in their report that is very irrelevant in the present Gambia.
My advice to fellow Gambians is to distance themselves from this topic because the more we talk about it, we will essentially be empowering and promoting LGBTQ issues in The Gambia without knowing. Even in the West, it is not universally accepted, but we should always remember democracy is a complex issue and should understand in a democracy where your rights stop is where someone else’s rights begin.

President Barrow was once asked this question in 2018/2019. His answer was very precise. He said: “LGBTQ rights are not an issue in The Gambia, hence there are no Gambians one can pinpoint as gay or lesbian, and therefore, it is not an important issue”. We must desist from playing too much politics into this. We are making our society very vulnerable to having such a discussion in front of our children which could have a serious impact on their lives. The persistent debate and discussions on this topic are a win for LGBTQ advocates. I understand there is a lot of intellectual dishonesty in this debate which is driven by so many factors. As a country, our focus should be on how to fight poverty and pray for a bumper harvest in the coming raining season.
May God protect The Gambia and its people from all kinds of evil deeds and give us the wisdom and the unity to protect our culture, values and norms.







Kebba Nanko
New York

Should the morally bankrupt like Alagie Saidy-Barrow be preachers?

Dear editor,

Life is an interesting adventure as a journey. It’s often said and I agree that man’s total action gives him his own definition? The good we do is temporary and the evil is permanent. Along those lines, anyone worth his or her salt needs to critically and sincerely review and bring himself to account for acts and omissions. Does this mean we are infallible? No, far from it! The wrongs of yesterday are still wrong today and those who preach morality need to be those of impeccable character. The mirror is a great asset for us to look at ourselves.

This begs the questions, should a man like Alagie Saidy-Barrow who divorced his national duties in pursuit of love be taken seriously for standing by Imam Leigh on gay rights? Where does this morally bankrupt man with zero conscience stand for being TRRC lead investigator? A man who through his poor planning and greed for power has caused a lot in The Gambia. Today he is masquerading in town as a champion of morally. December 2014 could have been a blood bath!

Should the morally bankrupt be preachers? Why accept a role knowing full well you are conflicted? Rob Paul to pay self. Should you be listened to?
While standing by Imam Leigh, the Imam has since withdrawn and apologized, where does the fugitive stand? Does this not answer the old adage, those who stand for noting will fall for anything. This coupist owes Gambians an apology. When will he appear before TRRC as being one of the persons who engaged in treason?
We are a moral community and people who would not allow gay rights or anything like that.

The lover boy who betrayed his national duties at the TRRC has also indicated that Baba Leigh was among the few imams who stood against Jammeh during the trying times of The Gambia. Yes, of course, nobody can dispute that but with every efforts he has made to free Gambians, does that justify his support for gay rights at all. If Imam Baba Leigh was standing against Jammeh, that does not mean he should also go against God’s law.
Anyone who is throwing his support behind gay rights shall never realise it in The Gambia.
The reality remains. Stand for truth, honesty and remove hatred, rancour and greed to live a fulfilling life. Ask for forgiveness as Imam Baba Leigh did.

Ebrima Nyang
GDC assistant administrative secretary

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