And call opposition to round table meeting
By Omar Bah
In the wake of a major electoral loss by the governing National Peoples Party last weekend, Dr Momodou Lamin Sedat Jobe, a former foreign minister and diplomat and member of the opposition United Democratic Party has advised President Adama Barrow to dissolve his ‘slumbering’ cabinet and engage the opposition to assist him to constitute a consensual cabinet.
“I advise him to engage Halifa Sallah, Mamma Kandeh, Bakary Bunja Dabo, Ousainu Darboe and all the opposition parties and ask for assistance to create a new cabinet which is consensual. We are not saying he should brutally get rid of his ministers; he can give them other functions but let him definitely make a fresh start,” Dr Jobe told The Standard yesterday.
“If you do that, you will be taken more seriously and at the same time it will contribute to stability in the remainder of your current term,” he urged the president, adding that if the new cabinet emanates from the advice given to the president by the various opposition leaders, no one will feel excluded.
Dr Jobe further argued that the current cabinet ministers are not serving the president well and in every serious administration worldwide, the president would take the the moral authority to remove all of them to restore trust in his regime.
“No matter how kind or considerate you are Mr President, you have no need or right and will not gain anything by protecting people who enrich themselves and believe that you should continue protecting and helping them to continue what they are doing with impunity. They are taking advantage of you because they feel you are weak,” Jobe advises Barrow.
He added that the president should come out of this mess as a very noble and generous person in the interest of all.
He also advised the president to create ambassadorial positions in one of the African countries for National Assembly Speaker Fabakary Tombong Jatta and his deputy Seedy Njie and replace them with different people in parliament.
“As long as they stay in their jobs in parliament you will continue losing your credibility and you will alienate people even in your own party,” he said.
Commenting on the just concluded mayoral and chairpersons election, Dr Jobe said the president should immediately end the hostilities between him and the opposition mayors and chairpersons and call them to a reconciliatory meeting to assure them of his government’s support. He said those who pushed the president to make the mayors as his rivals have downgraded him to the extent that he had to engage in campaigning door to door against them.
“He should realise that the mayors can never compare themselves with him but he should not also block them because whatever they achieve is under his presidency,” he said.
Jobe noted that the president should surprise everyone by coming up with a positive attitude towards the mayors and the opposition.
He warned that Gambians are waiting to see if the president would change his attitudes towards the mayors because trying to take revenge on the them by blocking them would be most unstatesmanlike.
On the issue of the constitution Dr Jobe said the president should do everything possible in his powers to get the new constitution passed.
“Let him not be worried about whether it serves him or not – let him extricate himself from it. Now we are not talking anymore about third term and so on – he is going to finish his second term and let him leave nobly and respectfully rather than trying to stay on in all this acrimony. It is not to his advantage,” he said.
Dr Jobe said the president should know that without the new constitution he will be deleting himself from the positive political history of this country.
“This may be very difficult for you now, Mr President, but you should realise that without doing this, your period of ruling The Gambia will not be called a new republic,” he added.
He accordingly urged the president to task the minister of justice to prepare a text which will give the guardianship of the respect of the constitution to the Supreme Court.
“This will liberate him and no one can accuse him of being partisan,” Dr Jobe concluded.