Hon Halifa Sallah and his media Cheer-Leaders (mainly US-based Pa Nderry Mbai and his Freedom Newspaper) continue to distract Gambians and Friends of The Gambia from the urgent tasks of nation-building and peace-building that faces post-Jammeh Gambia.
On the issue of “Barrow’s 3-Year Mandate” it has been said that Halifa Sallah is in “TOTALLY IN DENIAL”. I Agree.
And, I would add, Halifa is also being utterly HYPOCRITICAL for a man who has made “Constitution, Constitution, Constitution” his MANTRA over the last 30 years.
So, let us state it concisely and clearly for Hon Halifa Sallah:
The “3-Year Presidential Mandate” was a private contract between parties who have now fallen out and disengaged on the just concluded NAM elections issue. The reasons why the Coalition contract between the parties fell apart is a private matter between the parties. The public were never a party to that private contract – nor did the public validate that contract through a referendum as required by the constitution of the Republic of The Gambia.
Section 63(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of the Gambia states that “the term of office of an elected president shall … be for a term of five years”.
This raises the following questions:
Why should Halifa sign a 3-year Presidential term agreement that he, Halifa himself, now ACKNOWLEDGES as being UNconstitutional? Halifa never misses an opportunity to chide anyone for even the most minor infringement of the Constitution. Halifa should now take his own medicine – and chide himself (and stop fanning political bickering just to try and convince the public that he was the good guy and the others were the bad guys. As with Mel-B here in London this week, the marriage is dead and the washing of dirty linen in public is unedifying. Just accept that the marriage is dead – and move on!). What is more, Halifa is flogging a dead horse on the “Coalition” issue – because the public have already decided by voting 4 seats (7%) for PDOIS – and 31 seats (58%) for UDP.
Why should the Barrow government embark on a fundamental constitutional change – and the required referendum – just to shorten this President’s term to three years when the Barrow government feels that there are more important matters of nation building to attend to in the next five years?
Why should Lawyer Darboe’s UDP waste valuable time on a “3-year Presidential term” amendment that needs an expensive and time-consuming nationwide referendum when there is so much work to be done?
What about after the 3-years? Will Gambians have to amend the Constitution again to return to a 5-year presidential term – and have a referendum again to approve that 5-year amendment?
THE UDP, PRESIDENT BARROW AND MOST GAMBIANS HAVE MOVED ONTO MORE IMPORTANT MATTERS OF CONCERN TO THE MAJORITY OF GAMBIANS – MATTERS SUCH AS HOW TO PUT FOOD ON THE TABLE FOR THEIR FAMILIES.
As in the children’s story of “The Boy Who Always Cried ‘WOLF’”, Halifa Sallah and Pa Nderry Mbai run the risk of being ignored – when they do actually sometimes have important messages. But I suppose they are BOTH PROFESSIONAL “WOLF-CRIERS” and will continue to do so!
Long Live Freedom of Speech!
(But not for my opponents, as Halifa’s FOROYAA would have it. In 25 years of reading Gambian media, I have never read a PDOIS/HALIFA-contradicting opinion in FOROYAA. Please correct me if I am wrong).