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By Omar Bah & Tabora Bojang

A senior lecturer and former UTG staff president, has countered Dr Ismaila Ceesay’s “misleading” statements that he is simultaneously allowed to be a lecturer and leader of a political party while teaching at the UTG.

Critics said by being partisan as a university lecturer, the CA leader continues to flout not only the UTGs service rules, but the General Orders of the public service.

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According to the General Orders, “Every officer is entitled to his own political views, and may, if qualified, vote at elections. He may become a member of a political party or organisation, but may not accept any office, whether paid or unpaid, permanent or temporary, in any political party or organisation, nor may he make speeches, join in demonstrations or in any other way indicate publicly his support for any political party, organisation, person, or policy, nor shall he be required to show in the course of his duties.”

However, in a Standard exclusive yesterday, the political scientist dismissed the accusations, saying there is no condition of service or regulation that bars him from partisan politics.

However, countering his comments, Dr Alieu Gibba said: “Stop misleading the public. What you said and what the constitution says are in opposite directions. The constitution says that one cannot hold a political office and at the same time hold a public office.

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Are you not the secretary general and party leader of Citizens Alliance? Are you not under the payroll of UTG as a full-time staff member? Is that in line with the constitution? Wait for my upcoming interview series where a lot of national and higher education issues will be addressed.”

Meanwhile in an earlier write-up shared with The Standard, Dr Gibba argued that Dr Ceesay’s active involvement in politics while working as a full-time lecturer and employee at the UTG is unconstitutional and called on the university management to act without fear or favour and protect the university’s integrity.

He said the UTG authorities, president Barrow, his advisers and Dr Ceesay himself are aware of the unconstitutionality of his actions but they all failed to do the needful.

“It is clear to every Gambian that Dr Ceesay’s active engagement in politics is a violation of section 170 subsection (1) of the constitution, which states: “A person holding an office in a public service shall not hold office in any political party”.

“In accordance with this section, Dr Ceesay is therefore urged to either obtain a leave of absence without pay from the University of The Gambia or to remain as a full-time lecturer and abstain from active politics and/or holding a political office. The constitution as the supreme law of the land should be respected and what is illegal cannot be lawful,” he added.

Dr Gibba said the university authorities including legal advisers of the president, activists and political party leaders, are aware of the unconstitutionality of the political scientist’s actions.

“As a lecturer of political science at UTG, would that not be a conflict of interest and a challenge for students with opposing views on contemporary politics? I therefore urge my colleague to abide by the law and do the needful. To avoid setting further precedence and to protect the university’s integrity, the university management is once again advised to promote good governance and rule of law without fear or favour,” Dr Gibba charged.

According to the senior lecturer, universities are institutions where good morals, values and integrity are imparted, and UTG is not an exception, adding that actions and behaviours of lecturers have a direct impact on students’ attitudes in public and civil service.

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