Madi Jobarteh

(JollofNews) – I have seen some folks attempt to circumvent this issue in defending this illegal acceptance of vehicles by Barrow by claiming that the president is not a public officer. That’s a very unfortunate and myopic view that clearly shows that one is not interested in defending the best interest of the country but rather see Barrow as an individual first and foremost. This kind of position is the same position we had seen taken by unconscionable elites and supporters in defense of Jammeh. It did not benefit The Gambia at all.

That a president and ministers and parliamentarians are public officers is a forgone conclusion in any democratic republic. But yes in The Gambia the Despot made that change in Section 166 purposely to put himself above the law and public scrutiny.

Hence when we reach this stage, I for one will be utterly ashamed to defend Barrow and this gift on the basis of that undemocratic and criminal provision.

In fact this provision might have been changed following the Prof. Gumbo Touray trial when his lawyers challenged his charge of giving false information to a public officer in 2013. But the government later sought to change this provision because many petitions were being sent to Office of the President yet they cannot charge those people for giving false information to a public officer. Hence it might be possible that that amendment was done. It’s needs to be confirmed because the Despot has inserted lot of provisions into our constitution without due process.

That aside, I am utterly shocked that our president would receive gifts today only to have the same Gambians come to defend that on the basis of Section 166. These were the same Gambians that had lambasted Yaya Jammeh for receiving gifts in similar manner.

In fact in many other parts of the constitution there are provisions which, in spite of Section 166 point to the fact that the president or ministers or parliamentarians are public officers. For example the president’s salary is derived from the consolidated fund. Any expenses from this budget point to the public service.

I hope all of our citizens would see The Gambia first and foremost before seeing the president or any politician or part.

One would have expected that today all Gambians would demand best democratic practices and adherence to the highest standards of good governance. But it is so disappointing that there are still some Gambians who are ready and willing to suppress sacred values and standards and the best interest of the country in favor of an individual as president.

I hope our president Adama Barrow would reject such individuals and their unpatriotic positions!

Our national anthem is called ‘For The Gambia Our Home Land’. But do we all see The Gambia as our Home Land first and foremost or do we see it as our Home Land secondary to politicians and the government.

For me The Gambia is primary and supreme to the president or any politician and any party and indeed any citizen.

God Bless The Gambia.