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Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Mai Fatty: Three cheers for plainspeak!!!

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Since 9th October 2019 when he submitted notice of the termination of his contract to President Adama Barrow as special adviser in charge of the Department of Strategic Policy and Delivery, the Kaabunka politician Mai Ahmad Fatty has become a different kettle of fish.

It is like the eight months he spent at the presidency was an epiphany for him. On the day he announced his resignation, he said: “I will remain very relevant in national politics. Let me go further to confidently say that I am the next president of The Gambia after Barrow.” We are not too sure about the latter, but certainly the leader of the Gambia Moral Congress has remained very relevant and in a poignant way.

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Perhaps more than any politician in The Gambia today, even more than the bel esprit Halifa Sallah himself, Mai Fatty has become very clear in his thinking and expresses his thoughts in a manner as clear as clear could be. He has dumped legalese, officialese and even politicalese.

He says things as he sees them and true to his conviction. He knows some of the things he has been saying will cost him political capital, but they are what he believes. For him that is morality. Political and personal morality. Be true to yourself and your beliefs. We wish our politicians will borrow a leaf from Mr Fatty’s book and speak as clearly as Mai Fatty has been doing of late.

As you must have read in one of our front-page articles, Interior Minister Yankuba Sonko last week told the National Assembly that at least 18 imams across the country were arraigned and fined for flouting Covid-19 emergency regulations.

Hear Mr Fatty: “There is no sense in prosecuting imams for violating Covid-19 regulations and shutting your eyes to the daily political rallies taking place across the country. There is no secret that some political parties are on tour across the country, conducting daily public meetings, and in the process intentionally breaking all Covid-19 with maximum impunity.

“No one in this country can claim not to know that political gatherings are happening daily, against regulations. If they are permitted to break the law with impunity, why should imams be selected for prosecution for breaking the same law? They even post their meetings publicly on social media for all to see, including law enforcement agencies.

“Why are they not being arrested for violating Covid-19 regulations? Why arrest the imams and subject them…why the selective justice? Why protect politicians and punish religious leaders? That’s unfair and its discrimination… Violations of the law should attract legal consequences. This is a buffer against impunity. However, all persons are entitled to equal protection under law. Violations of the law are punishable but discrimination is also unconstitutional.”

We agree with Mr Fatty in toto. Three cheers for plain speak!!!

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