The concept of ‘I rather die than resign’ is still alive in the Gambia: “I’d rather die; than resign” – a maxim at the Institute of Governance.
In a country that ‘hangs petty thieves and appoints the great ones to public office’ (Aesop), public office holders are expected to serve with honesty, dignity, integrity and accountability. ‘I’d rather die; than resign” then becomes the refuge for the devious, the duplicitous, the ‘great ones’ who cling to office and brazenly underestimate the trust, confidence and intelligence of the masses.
A testimony that ‘public office is the last refuge of a scoundrel’? (Penrose). In the Gambia, politicians and government officials do not relinquish power, they are either reassigned, sacked, voted out during elections or simply die in office.
The problem of feckless democracies (the Gambia for instance) is that respect for the rule of law and independent institutions hardly exist. That notwithstanding, me thinks the country has made significant strides in the right directions compared to previous governments – from the “I’d rather die than resign’’ concept, the President reassigned to lighter duties’’, from State Minister to foreign service employee invalidated President Barrow stand on citizens right to know and impunity from the law.
However, for fuller realization of democracy, public office holders ought to take both moral and political responsibilities anytime legitimate concerns are raised about their conduct. They should not wait to be hounded from office. President Barrow should tell the Gambian people what Mr. Fatty has done. Mr. Fatty too should have resigned not allow to be disgraced or reassigned to a lighter duty!
As such, I am one of those who believe that the Friday 10 November removal of Interior Minister is an indictment on both President Adama Barrow and Mai Fatty.
In fact, were it in a functional democracy, Mai Fatty would be somewhere cooling off his heels. This government is not only effete, but also partisan.