Lawyer Darboe Exposing the Dangerous links between Corruption and Pervasive Human Rights Abuse to the Growing Influence of Insecurity on Politics in West Africa
The leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP) Lawyer Ousainou Darboe has warned West African leaders to curb corruption and pervasive human rights abuse if they are to be successful in combating the growing insecurity in West Africa.
The UDP leader was speaking at a well-attended international confab of the Socialist International in the Malian capital Bamako on April 10th 2015 where he presented a paper on: The growing influence of insecurity on politics in West Africa: Unlocking the dangerous links between insecurity and transnational crime, corruption, lack of respect for human rights and democratic governance in the region.
The UDP leader’s speech covered in detail, the underlining factors that promote insecurity in the region.
Insecurity fuelled by State sanctioned repression and rights abuses
Lawyer Darboe said in order to understand why there has been a rise in insecurity in West Africa, people have to look at the interconnectedness of other opportunistic factors that breed insecurity leading to their pervasive impact on politics generally.
He said “in many West African countries, there is hardly a distinction between the State and the ruling party. Quite often, ruling parties in their quest to remain in power, put in place deliberate policies in guise of protecting national security to systematically suppress dissent; muzzle freedom of expression and of the media; and deny citizens their basic and fundamental rights
“In some countries, a mere attempt by the opposition to organize political rallies at the very least, receive puzzle response from the authorities. In more severe cases, heavy handed security tactics are used to clamp down on the opposition as a deliberate ploy to distance the opposition from its constituent supporters” the UDP leader said.
He added that rule of law is also hardly respected characterized by a persistent disregard for the due process. “Electoral reforms that could bring about credible, transparent, free and fair elections are always frowned upon. Where they are put under pressure, ruling parties accept reforms that are only but cosmetic” Mr Darboe said attracting loud applause from the audience.
“In such situations distinguish ladies and gentlemen, resentments against the established order are strong that normally translates into violent conflict and confrontation” Mr Darboe said.
The Gambian opposition extol other African politicians the need to be proactive in speaking out against undemocratic tendencies of peers in government. Due to the lack of constructive peer criticism and flagging red warning alert, democracy is not firmly taking roots in the continent.
In the season of discussion where the topic is African problem needs African solution, Mr Darboe said it is a step in right direction. However, he added that small African countries and those without any natural resources are ignored and the plight of their suffering are left to themselves. In the Gambia, the opposition parties, the media and civil society are seen as enemies of the state rather than stakeholders in enhancing and entrenching democracy in the country Mr Darboe said..
The twin evils of poverty and corruption
The UDP leader also dwelled on what he called “the twin evils of poverty and corruption” that contribute greatly to insecurity in West Africa, thereby affecting peaceful political conduct. Lawyer Darboe said: “Mr Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, behind the competition for political dominance in the countries of West Africa, reveals some deep seated cowardly facades by the political class particularly those in charge of the nations’ coffers to perpetually keep the messes in poverty.
“Deliberately, some governments will even deny development programmes to their own citizens because they are deemed to be opposition supporters. In most of these communities, unemployment is unbearably high and they also lack the basic of opportunities. In addition, national resources are plundered and State coffers looted.”
He added that in a situation where people lack hope and opportunities, and are deliberately downtrodden, they resort to measures that could have profound consequence on peace and security talk less of peaceful politicking.
Thus, Lawyer said, “the twin evils of poverty and corruption that our governments continue to perpetuate, are important factors that we should not ignore when we discuss politics and insecurity in West Africa.”
Mr Darboe concluded by calling on the governments in the region and across Africa to effectively tackle the problem of insecurity while at the same time guaranteeing political freedoms of their citizens.
well done Mr Darboe. i followed your updates on your facebook page. You have given us hope and optimism. Hope you return back to Gambia safely.
i am impress with the steps you have taken Mr Darboe. We need solidarity from regional counter parts. Well done.
We are behind you Lawyer Darboe. Fear only Allah but not your political enemies in The Gambia for we got your back covered.
Am very impressed with the style of politics the U. D.P adheres to. Some day all the dots will connect and you will be a force for positivity and progress in that nation. Bravo to all other parties too.
Did the report say, “Confab of the Socialist International. ..?” I didn’t know Honourable Darboe was a secret Socialist..!!!
This was a fitting platform for Honourable Comrade Halifa…. Nevertheless, Honourable Comrade Darboe is quite right and has represented the country very well…(Hahaha…)
Now to be serious….I think this is an appropriate forum to discuss what we can do to create a peaceful and stable Gambia (as suggested by Janko), because the “twin evils” of poverty and corruption, could be some of the many factors that lead to conflict and instability….
Political turmoil in Africa, in my view, is mainly the result of national psyches of individual nations and weak national institutions, which lead to poor governance and all its attendant consequences…
In the Gambia for example, how our national psyche is shaped and defined can be seen in some of the adages of the different ethnic groups, and this is either manifested in, or demonstrated by, our collective attitudes towards Public Office and Public property, either as individual office holders or in our interaction with, and view of, public office holders….
Perhaps the best known adages, with the most influence on our national psyche, that define and shape our attitudes to public office/property, are the popular Mandinka, Fula, Wollof and Aku adages……I will only use the Mandinka one to show what I mean..
Mandinka…..”YE NISO SITI DAAMENG, AKA IBALU WOLETO”…Meaning…”cattle feed where they are pastured…”
Public Office, therefore, becomes a place where you feed, and feed those who depend on you…Many Gambians will therefore use every chance they have, either legitimately or not, to earn extra money from their offices…The more access you have to Public Funds, the greater your chance to make money and live “the life”..
And this has become an accepted attitude by the general public and individuals who engage in all sorts of fraudulent activities and live “the life” are praised and glorified (as they dish out money constantly), whilst those who don’t, are ridiculed as aimless and without blessings..(“Bugut daara”; “barako talaa”)
“Touray Bugut daaraa” of Customs and Excise Dept and Pakaya Fofana of Accountant General’s Office, both of the 1stst Republic, are a good example to illustrate this point…
Socialist International is a diverse group and part of their mission/agenda is to promote democratic values, international peace and security throughout the world. These are values that the UDP subscribes to.
By the way, The UDP like all others none socialist partiess is a “Observer Member” of the SI. So no, Lawyer Darboe is not an ULTRA SOCIALIST. He believes in free market policies albeit with proportionate state intervention and regulations.
Another influencing/shaping.factor of another element of our national psyche can be traced to both the Mandinka and Aku adages….and I’m sure every other ethnic group in the country has their own equivalent adages. .
Mandinka….”SIBIJANG DIBENGO”.Meaning the “shade of.a (tall).rhun palm tree…” (Which provides shade to everything except its own trunk..)
Aku…”Charity de begin na’ouse” …Meaning, “charity begins at home…”
The prevalence of nepotism, favouritism and preferential treatment in The Gambia can be blamed on the fact that the general expectation is that individuals have to help their own immediate circle of family members, relatives and friends when they are in a position to do so.. and jobs provide people with the opportunities to “help…”
In a country where jobs are scarce, individuals in public office ( the public sector being the main employer) come.under immense pressure to meet this public expectation, even to the point of bending the rules…And again, those who succeed in meeting this expectation, regardless of how, receive praise whilst those who don’t, are branded negatively…That was, and still is, why the “lucrative” work places (like customs) are staffed by a community of related and inter-connected individuals who constitute the work force…And even the less “lucrative” ones, like the Armed Forces, have their top echelons staffed by related and inter – connected individuals…
Those who miss out because they have.no strong connections become disillusioned, jealous, angry and yearn for change to bring about change in their own situations…And when they are in the Army, the obvious route is through a coup d’etat, like July 22nd…
Governance, under such a climate suffers immensely, regardless of the good laws and national institutions set up to implement the laws, because the attitudes of the people who man those institutions, and the.public that should hold them.to account, is totally wrong and flawed….
My solution therefore is attitudinal change through meaningful and relevant Education, using both conventional and civic methods…
We must have a type of education system and methods that develop a citizenry whose attitude and practice in government, is inspired by a moral consciousness that is guided by the laws of the land and the universally accepted principles of democratic governance …
Gambians must change our attitudes to ensure that we build a peaceful, stable and prosperous country for our children and their children’s children….If we fail to do that, history will not be kind to us, nor will the future be kind to our children…
My humble opinion….
A united front? coalition? whatever the terminology?….but follks can give me the right one I know; when are we going to see it happening?, for time is running out!
Gambia however, needs to be lead by the most capable citizens in all positive aspects. Our various opposition parties definitely should step up their unifying efforts to give the ordinary Gambian a bit of an impression by now. All our opposition parties’ consideration to this matter will be of immeasurable importance to the multitudes of our citizenry.
Ggapm Agapm, have you not read Halifa Sallah’s reaction to Standard Newspaper article on this issue and the Cordeg saga?? He (Halifa) said it is not yet time to talk about coalition. So clearly, he either haven’t seen the urgency you saw or he simply doesn’t care.
He (Halifa) talks about pdois having published their position on coalition but he doesn’t have the guts to present it to the UDP for consideration.
Present it to the UDP for consideration. .? Why if I may ask..?
Well if you want to make a contract with somebody, you send him/her an offer which he can accept or reject. But if you don’t send him/her an offer but then stand at the Bantaba and start shouting ” I have got an offer!”, he/she is most likely to take you to be a fool rather than somebody with a serious offer because if you have got a serious offer, you will approach the person with that offer.
I think once PDOIS approached UDP with their offer, it’s deficiencies and insincerity will lay bare, and Halifa Sallah understands that.
No Lafia la Manju, I did not read that article of Hon. Halifa Sallah yet on the standard newspaper but I’ll do so to get my self informed asap.
Viewing any proposal as a contract between one party and the other is one way of.looking at it…..
Another way of looking at it is that the proposals are identified areas of common agreements, in order to be presented and entered into, as a contract with the people, rather than between individual parties…
So in the respect, the bantabas are a good place to discuss them…
UDP has a good number of those people behind them. It is a party owned by the people . So why not extend your offer/proposal to them if you have the guts???
Opposition unity is good but what form of unity..?
I hope a consensus is reached on that and a strong unified opposition emerge to contest the elections…
Lafia: Halifa is not PDOIS and therefore cannot present any proposal to UDP without a Congress endorsing the proposal. Once the document is endorsed at a congress, be rest assured that the right steps will be taken. How many times will PDOIS have to explain the process it is taking? The Agenda 2016 which is also called a mini Manifesto is published for people to make their reactions before it becomes final at a congress which PDOIS would certainly take into consideration when the time comes.If others have any further proposals, they are most welcome to publish it for public reaction and scrutiny which will also allow other partners to contemplate over it. I believe all genuine partners are contemplating on the Agenda 2016 right now.
How can PDOIS be afraid to present its proposal to UDP party alone when it has the audacity to put it in every national and Online newspaper as well as informed people in every Bantaba in the country? The contract you referred to belongs to all sectors of society and not only UDP and PDOIS and therefore requires the input of not only the PDOIS membership at a congress but the Gambians as a whole. I hope this time it is clear to you
Yerro Bah, Halifa’s Agenda 2011 was endorsed by a Pdois congress at the Atlantic Hotel and yet neither him nor pdois had the guts to present it to UDP. Lawyer Darboe had to call a meeting of all the opposition parties to discuss coalition.
You are just bitter.
PUBLISH IN FREEDOM Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2010 (Archive on Friday, July 30, 2010)
Gambia: PDOIS REBUFFS DARBOE’S CLAIMS ABOUT NADD!!!
IS THERE PROSPECTS FOR OPPOSITION MERGER??
REFER RELEVANT SECTION EXTRACTED FROM ABOVE REPORT IN 2010 ARCHIVED;
“PDOIS DISAGREMENT WITH UDP AND NRP
PDOIS wrote to UDP before its Congress to indicate to them that the party was waiting for the resolution of the UDP Congress on inter party unity in order to know what form of Alliance could be forged for 2011.
The UDP leader, in his address to the Congress indicated that the registration of NADD was a disaster. PDOIS would want its supporters in particular and all those interested in Gambian politics in general to know that the registration of NADD was Constitutional requirement. No candidate could contest under NADD without its registration as a political party. PDOIS advances a challenge to any leader who disagrees with this view. Hence those who did not support the registration of NADD should not have signed the Memorandum of Understanding establishing NADD.
In short , under the strategic objectives of the Memorandum, Parties “agreed to put together resources within the framework of the Alliance to contest the forthcoming Presidential, National Assembly and Council elections” It adds that “The selection of the candidate of the Alliance for the Presidential, National Assembly and Council elections shall be done by consensus, provided that in the event of an impasse selection shall be done by primary election restricted to party delegates, on the basis of equal number of delegates, comprising the Chairman, Chairwoman and youth leader of each party from each village or ward in a constituency”
In terms of the tenure of office, the memorandum states that “The interim President of the Republic under the Alliance shall serve for one five year term of office only. He/she shall vacate his or her seat at the end of his or her term of office and shall neither seek nor support the candidature of any other person for the ensuing presidential elections.
A constitutional provision shall be put in place under the Alliance that would limit the number of terms a person could occupy the office of president of the Republic to two.” Hence all parties which signed the Memorandum agreed to put up Candidates under a NADD ticket. This is incontrovertible. Now one may ask: Could a candidate stand on a NADD ticket without NADD being registered as a Party? The answer is in the negative. It is obvious to any one who has read section 60 of the Constitution that we could not put up Candidates under NADD until NADD was registered as a party. It reads “ No association , other than a political party registered under or pursuant of an Act of the National Assembly, shall sponsor Candidates in public elections” NADD had to be registered. Did we have to lose National Assembly seats before the Registration? The answer is in the Negative.
Section 91 subsection 1 d of the Constitution states that
“a member of the National Assembly shall vacate his or her seat in the National Assembly-if he or she ceases to be a member of the political party of which he or she was a member at the time of his or her election;
provided that nothing in this paragraph shall appy on a merger of political parties at the national level where such a merger is authorised by the Constitution of the parties concerned.”
The simple and elementary truth is that all parties that had agreed to put up Candidates under NADD had merged into NADD. The IEC also conceived NADD as an Umbrella party, a merger. They argued their case in that regard and even told the court that they had drafted the rules governing Alliances. The disaster is that NADD’S Counsels did not use merger of parties as a defence to save National Assembly seats. The registration of NADD was not an error. The only legal advice that was legitimate was to tell parties that they were creating a merger by signing the memorandum of understanding. Hence those who did not want a merger should not have signed.The error was to fail to get every party to sign to indicate in black and white that they conceive NADD as an umbrella Party or merger. No room would have been left for historical excuses that are so evident after NADD’s disintegration.
Secondly, in his address to the UDP Congress the NRP leader claimed that he left NADD because other parties did not believe in his principle of allowing the party with the majority to lead. This claim is incorrect.
The NRP signed a memorandum which indicated that the selection of Candidates would be done through a unanimous vote of executive members or a primary. It goes without saying that during the first attempt to select a candidate in accordance with the principle of unanimity, it is Dulo Bah, the representative of the NRP who nominated a representative of the PPP and Pa Manneh , a representative of NDAM who seconded the nomination of the representative of the PPP. This compelled UDP and PDOIS representatives to make their own nominations and thereby created an impasse. It was the Coordinator who explained that the Executive Committee only had the power to select a candidate if their decision is unanimous, otherwise elction would have to take place in the form of a primary. At no time did the NRP leader denounce Dulo Bah and state a party position for the selection of the flagbearer.Infact when the delegates met to try to make a second attempt to reach unanimity by establishing some criteria to guide the nomination process the NRP leader never advocated for the selection a majority party leader as a criterion. Through out the history of NADD, the NRP leader had never proposed for an Amendment of the memorandum to incorporate what he called his principle. Such attempts to rewrite history only undermine mutual trust between opposition leaders fans polemics and draws attention away from the ruling party and focus it on the squabbles among the opposition. PDOIS hopes that leaders would realise that any refusal to accept the facts will push us to propagate fiction which will not lead us to draw appropriate lessons to move forward.
To conclude PDOIS would want the people to recall that Gambia has been led by 2 Heads of state for the past 45 years. In the next 15 years those who were born in 1965 will be 60 years.It is clear that unless we break the current trend of self perpetuating rule two heads of state will lead the Gambia for 60 years.”
SOURCE LINK: http://freedomnewspaper.com/Homepage/tabid/36/newsid367/5368/mid/367/Gambia-PDOIS-REBUFFS-DARBOES-CLAIMS-ABOUT-NADD/Default.aspx
RELEVANT QUOTE TO NOTE REFUTING FALSE CLAIMS FROM YOUR STATEMENT ABOVE:
“PDOIS wrote to UDP before its Congress to indicate to them that the party was waiting for the resolution of the UDP Congress on inter party unity in order to know what form of Alliance could be forged for 2011.”
AND PDOIS NEVER GOT A RESPONSE FROM UDP; AFTER ITS CONGRESS TILL UP-TODATE!
UDP had no such resolution tabled before its congress and pdois had no reason to believe that there was such a resolution before a udp congress.
What emerged from a udp congress is a mandate given to Lawyer Darboe to contact other parties with a view to formulating a coalition with them in line with international standards with UDP party has the leader to reflect its status as the main opposition party in the country. It was that mandate that Lawyer Darboe exercised to the fullest but which did not result to an all inclusive coalition as was desired.
PDOIS cannot dictate or influence UDP’s internal policies or workings.
section 91 subsection 1 d of the Constitution states that
“a member of the National Assembly shall vacate his or her seat in the National Assembly-if he or she ceases to be a member of the political party of which he or she was a member at the time of his or her election;
provided that nothing in this paragraph shall apply on a merger of political parties at the national level where such a merger is authorised by the Constitution of the parties concerned.” -Dawda
Well, it is clear from the above that NADD was not a merger has no party’s constitution provided for a merger with any party. Certainly not the UDP.
Also, the MOU explicitly stated that NADD was created as an alliance and pdois supporters on this forum have accepted that. So this is a settled issue. Only you now needs education on this. I am not providing it though.
See link to UDP UK’s response to Halifa on this issue: http://www.freedomnewspaper.com/Homepage/tabid/36/newsid367/5469/Breaking-News-Gambia-Press-Release-UDPUKs-Response-To-Halifa-Sallahs-Statements/Default.aspx
You seem to know everything about the UDP when it suits you, even its relations with other parties….
But when.it doesn’t suit you, then you claim that you are.not an official of the UDP….
How would you know whether Agenda 2011 was presented to the UDP or not…
It certainly was in the public domain for all who are interested to know…
If you read and thoroughly scrutinuse UDP leader’s paper or speech presented in this conference, it is intriguing to note that Gambia’s dire political situation is not specifically mentioned or highlighted to expose the bad governance, tyranny and repressive government; for instance under certain relevant paragraphs he referred to “From Senegal to Ghana; Ivory Coast to Benin and most recently Nigeria……”; so and so onwards!
Africa generally but leader of an opposition should focus on national politics also when addressing political problems but not done in this conference for The Gambia our homeland. Its just a point of observation!
“Yerro Bah, Halifa’s Agenda 2011 was endorsed by a Pdois congress at the Atlantic Hotel and yet neither him nor pdois had the guts to present it to UDP. Lawyer Darboe had to call a meeting of all the opposition parties to discuss coalition.”
Lafia, Agenda 2011 was not endorsed by a PDOIS congress at the Atlantic Hotel, but rather the proposals and principles articulated in the agenda were accepted and acted upon by a coalition of three opposition parties that formed the UNITED FRONT. And one of its main democratic instruments was a primary process to determine the selection of the presidential candidate for the UNITED FRONT.
A fundamental objective to note in that whole endeavor is the word: PROCESS. It is also the most fundamental principle that underpin the whole concept of Democracy. Nobody is entitled to anything; you have to earn it.
What Yerro Bah has explained cannot be any clearer. While people are trying to move in one direction you are stubbornly trying to push them in the other direction. I sincerely do not know what you hope to gain from this.
What do you really want from PDOIS? Can you tell us please?
You are just bitter.
Lafia: Are you saying that PDOIS held a congress at the Atlantic hotel and endorsed Agenda 2011? The only event that happened at Atlantic that involved PDOIS was the Convention where Hamat Bah was selected to lead the United Front. As far as i know the UDP had categorically rejected any form of primary to select the Flag bearer at the preliminary talks. How can the UDP or Darbo for that matter reject the Agenda if he did not have the document. I do not think it matters much who first called who but what the outcome of the talks were.
What is however clear without a doubt is that you are simply fabricating information to make an argument. PDOIS did not hold any congress at the Atlantic before or after the Convention in 2011 and this cannot be disputed. Try something else, not this one please!
Yerro Bah, you are not well informed that’s why you are talking loose. There was a pdois congress held at the Atlantic Hotel in 2010 in which Halifa’s Agenda 2011 was endorsed by the party.
You are filled not with wisdom but bitterness. Chill-out my friend.
Lafia La Manju, I still got to find that Hon. Halifa Sallah reaction in the standard newspaper as you said , but I think all of or most of our opposition honourables have unwarranted hidden sentiments in them and so most of them cannot be simple and straight forward when it comes to informing the ordinary Gambian on their reconciliation and unity efforts.
I have the feeling that I shouldn’t trust any them if that even matters. Too much futile official work rather than pragmatism. Come on………..another bitter truth is, all of them too need to reach themselves first.
May god help them in that process. Guys all want to president I bet, and that kind of attitude is a whole forum’s discourse. This kind of an attitude, is what has been holding us back for far too long.
With every due respect.
I believe the reaction is in foroyaa, not Standard.
Whether NADD was an “Alliance”, “Merger”, “Umbrella Party/Entity”… Whatever it was, a few things are incontrovertible. …
* it was independent of its members. ..
* it intended to present candidates at the Presidential and National Assembly elections….
Unless you refute these claims, you should tell how NADD can present candidates for election if it is not registered….
Oh! that’s like jettisoning Halifa’s claim that NADD is a “merger”. He later said NADD is an “Umbrella party” whatever that means. You are not far off Bax.
I did not say it is in the standard newspaper but foroyaa. See link below;
You did say it was in.the Standard Newspaper but it is human to err…
Well, maybe you need some English Lessons. This is what I said;
“Ggapm Agapm, have you not read Halifa Sallah’s reaction to Standard Newspaper article on this issue and the Cordeg saga?? He (Halifa) said it is not yet time to talk about coalition. So clearly, he either haven’t seen the urgency you saw or he simply doesn’t care.”
Lafia Touray la Manju
RELEVANT QUOTES FROM PDOIS STATEMENTS NOTED ON UNITED FRONT AND EXTRACTED.
“Hence, at this moment what is expected of credible opposition parties is to hold party congress and formulate policies on when alliances would be necessary and which form of alliances would be acceptable to each party.
PDOIS is the only party which has formulated proposals on how a United Front could be built which is to be submitted to a congress so that it could form part of the PDOIS Manifesto for the 2016 -2018 electoral cycle.
We have already proposed in Agenda 2016 that all parties should pursue electoral reform so that the second round of voting would be restored.In order to ensure that the incumbent is deprived of more than 50 percent majority, we propose that all parties should go on the ground to extend their political influence so that they could share among themselves more than 50 percent of the votes on the ground. In this way, the opposition candidate who would have had the largest number of votes to go for the second round would get the support of all the other opposition parties. This is PDOIS’ first proposal.
Secondly, we have left room for the possibility of not having the electoral reform desired. In that case the whole world would be convinced that the incumbent is afraid to submit his mandate to the rigors of genuine elections. In that case , PDOIS proposes for the opposition to meet and select one credible candidate to run a transitional government if elected with the support of all.
To ensure that a credible candidate is selected PDOIS proposes that the political parties should select their candidates and expose them to the electorate and when it becomes necessary to form a united front the party candidates as well as the Independent candidates could join a caravan to tour the country before any negotiation so that the public appeal of each candidate could be assessed.”