Let’s Support Mai This Time Around

On the Issue of law and order, please permit me to add the following regarding the Farato and Baffuloto incidents.

All Gambians must or at least should​ Support the Minister of the Interior, Mai Fatty in this specific instance of restoring and enforcing law and order that apparently​ broke down at Farato and Baffuloto villages. Democratic dispensation or dividend does not equal or mean lawlessness​ or hooliganism of any kind. With democracy comes responsibility toward each other and Property. In an ideal world, a government​ is paradoxically​ a voluntary and involuntary association of all individuals and groups within a defined georgraphical area. This is by way of shared and different values, needs, and wants. Citizens agree to disagree, yet live within acceptable social norms that are operationalized in the form of promulgated laws, ordinances, rules and regulations. This is what political and political scientists call “Social Contract”. By Social Contract, it is meant that the Citizens consent to be governed in exchange for the government to provide Certain level of security, and the general well-being of the citizens. However, social contract also have an implicit Understanding that empowers the Citizens to resist, protest and even Remove a government that violates the teneths of the contract, just as much as the government has a legitimate privilege and even right to safeguard the peace, security and tranquility of the country. The tension inherent in this view of government and democracy is that the Citizens’ consent is not open ended, nor the government’s right. They are all constrained by the circumstantial​ and situational nature of events that both the Citizens and the government have little if any total control over. Thus, it is very important for both Parties to respond to these​ events in a measured and equally appropriate manner that does not clamp down on dissent or appear to do so. The Law Breakers or Offenders must be responsible for their Acts or Behavior. While the government as the representative entity of the citizens holds Law Breakers or Offenders Accountable Under the Weight of the proscribed laws of the land in a manner that is within the Existing Laws, Ordinances, Rules and Regulations. The Government should endeavor to Articulate, Communicate, Inform​and Publicise Its Intent with reference to any Action or Deed, for a Reasonable Time or Period, Utilizing all Appropriate and available Means of Communication. Community Meetings or “Bantaba” need to be held at different intervals, times, and over a reasonable period to achieve Maximum Participation or Critical Mass Response from those affected. This is what the Essence of Participatory democracy is all about. It is not just voting for or against, or protesting for or against a certain issue. Nor is participatory democracy the mere absence of Authoritarian or Autocratic and despotic acts by government officials or their surrogates in or outside of the government. Law and order and meaningful broad based participatory democracy and governance go hand in Hand. They are Identical Twins With a difference that should be nurtured and maintained with a deliberate sustained effort and input by all and from all. One Gambia, One People, One Destiny.

Sidi N. Bojang



  1. Luntango (Degaleh Wagh, Tabaa Bung Bang Yekumofo)

    Indeed Sidi,
    Infact I would give Lawyer Mai Fatty Straight As for effort since he was hoisted into the most difficult seat in the new government. He has really been focussed and done well. That said, a Land Commission where complaints by citizens can be taken is urgently needed. I read somewhere that the dispute over the land was initially between Farato and Bafulolo – and that the dsipute was settled in favour of Farato by a Court Order. Did Farato Alkalo then sell the land to the Gibba guy who claims to be the lawful owner? Lots more questions like this, but we have to trust Mai Fatty and the Law Enforcement who have all the facts.
    Keep it up Mai Fatty.

  2. Mai Fatty should be allow to do it in his own way this is the only way to stop rampant corruption

  3. L Jarju

    Mai is doing good work

  4. Hon Mai Fatty is like a man who has been thrown into the lion’s den. Since assuming office, unfortunately, he has had to deal with several instances that seem to be the results of failings of other institutions.

    Often, as was the case here, people’s dissatisfaction with the authorities, is expressed in ways that impact law and order, which falls under his domain and hence, the constant challenges he faces.

    I think he has done very well and if this was a football match, I will nominate him for the “man of the match” award. He really deserves commendations.

    Notwithstanding, views that he should be left to do it his way are a bit naive and unwise. Moreover, since he seems to be dealing with situations arising from other people’s “mess”, I think it will be unfair for him to be left “alone” to deal with these emerging challenges. A collective approach is required here.

    The thorny land issue itself cannot be addressed by the lands commission alone, unless the political will and courage for a revolutionary land reform exercise is shown. The previous governments have failed to tackle and resolve the land issue for reasons best known to them.

    I can only guess and I think the PPP abdicated its responsibility because it didn’t want to incur the wrath of its patron founders, all of whom where huge landowners or come from families that claim large tracts of land as theirs (despite land being clearly designated in The Gambia as belonging to the state), whilst the APRC’s Jammeh wants it all for himself.

    Would the Barrow Administration must the courage and will to solve this thorny once and for all ? I doubt it very much, not least because of vested individual or family interests in land ownership. The land issue though, has to be tackled and given to its rightful owner, the state, to avoid conflict as the ever increasing population exerts more and more pressure on a very scarce resource.

    It is not an exaggeration to claim that the state of our land resource management is amongst the most irresponsible one can find anywhere in the world, and ours is made even worse by the smallness of our land resource. Something is got to be done or else trouble looms in the future.

    • Good insight on Land Ownership, and Land Tenure in the Gambia. On the other hand Governments Past and Present have not yet Seriously Invested the kind or type of Resources and Response such as a Comprehensive Land Ownership and Land Tenure Reform Policy to Remedy and Reform this very Thorny and Conflict riddled issue. It may be easy to blame the Governments. However, let’s do our Own Self Examination of how we Contributed and Continue to the Problem of Land Disputes. We knowingly Bribe, Unscrupulously​ use our Money and Political Connections​ to Subvert Laws, Ordinances and Existing Rules on Land Ownership. The Public Needs to Reject Corruption and Corruptive Practices in all its Form or Shape. After that, the Public Needs to Demand Government to Provide Comprehensive Laws on Land Ownership and Land Tenure Reform Bill. A Comprehensive Land Ownership and Land Tenure Reform Bill Should or Need to be Fast Tracked given the implications of Communal Conflicts that may be inevitable if not Addressed with a sense of urgency. The Land Reform Bill Need to be Non Partisan by being Proposed and Tabled Not by Cabinet or Ministerial Level or by The Executive Branch, the Presidency. The Land Ownership and Land Tenure Reform Bill Needs to be Brought to Birth by a Multi-Party Coalition of National Assembly Members Identified or Selected by their Caucus. The NAMS Selected to this Need to be NAMS who are known for their Integrity, and Reaching out to the Political Divide in the interest of the Gambians to Do the Peoples’ Work.The Selected NAMS Assigned with the Task of Drafting a Land Ownership and Land Tenure Reform Bill Needs to Consult with the Public and Communities throughout the Gambia. The Consultation and or Fact Finding Should be Delibrate and Open to Allow a Broad Based Community Participation at all Levels. It should Not be Rushed and all of available Media in the Gambia Needs to be Engaged and Public Service Announcements Produced and Provided in All Local Languages and in English. The Public Service Announcements Need to be Provided to the Government Free of Charge as a Civic Duty and the Government Should Endeavor Not to Abuse or Misuse it. It should be Sustained for a Period of Thirty Days During the Consultation and Fact Finding Mission. The Media Needs to Educate, Train and Assign Journalist who have been Identified as having an Extensive Knowledge on both Legal and Common Issues governing Land Ownership and Land Tenure. Land Ownership and Land Tenure is One Issue that Affects, Touches and Impacts every Gambian, Region, Business, and Institutions of all kinds including Churches and Mosques, Schools and Shopping Centers. It Affects, Touches and Impacts Farmers, and Land Developers as much as it does Parks and Recreation Centers. In short, it is all Encompassing and Affects, Touches and Impacts Where we Live and How we Live. It may even Affect and Impact Where we are Buried. Given the Enormity and Sensitive Nature of the Issue of Land Reform, The Gambia Needs a Comprehensive Policy of Land Ownership and Land Tenure Reform. The Government Needs​ to Delibrate on How to go about Introducing and Implementing a Comprehensive Land Reform Bill. The Task would be Challenging and Difficult, and may even be the Most Challenging Task for a National Government. That is all the More reason why it Needs to be Treated with a Sense of Urgency but with DELIBRATE SPEED. There needs to be Community Level Consultations at the Village Alkalos Levels and their Residents to the Towns and City Mayors, City Councils and their Residents. The “HAVE​ YOUR SAY ON THE LAND OWNERSHIP AND TENURE REFORM BILL FACT FINDINGS”, or what ever it is called Needs to be Inclusive, Broad Based, Open or Transparent and be Tolerant and Entertaining of Opposing Views. The Fact Finding Meetings Should be Held at Times that are Tailored to Meet the Needs of the Community Residents and Not that of the Government Officials including the Alkalos, the Chiefs or “Ceffos”, City Mayors, Council members all the way to the NAMS, Members of the Cabinet and the Presidency. The Youth, Women, Widows and Widowers, the Orphans and the Immigrant with an Investment Property Needs to be Provided an Equal Opportunity to Participate without hindrance or Intimidation of any kind. The Community Leaders Should Not Rubber Stamp their or their Friends and Associates​ Interests, nor should a Businessman​ or Woman, a Cartel or Unscrupulous Characters​ who are usually known by the Locals be allowed to “Push their Agenda” at the Expense and or to the Disadvantage of the Community Residents. The Communities Need to do their Homework Prior to the Meetings and come Prepared and Ready to Debate and Provide Input to the Meetings​. Each Community Need to Form Committees that Addresses a Certain Concern or Issues​. These issues Should be Delibrated and Refined into​ the Committee’s Minutes which would then be Presented to the General​ Community for Comments and Changes where Needed. The Committee Members Should Not have a Veto Power over the General Community’s Comments and Recommendations for an Amendment to the Committee’s Minutes. All Gambians Need to Feel and Believe that they have been Listened to and that they had a Stake and Contributed to the National Discuss on Such an Important Task and Issue of Land Ownership and Land Tenure Reform Bill. Which ever Method or Way this Enterprise of the Gambia and for the People Choosen, the Gambia People Stand to Benefit Depending on How it was DONE. More on how the Government can Leverage this Endeavor to Create at least Temporary Emploment for Youth. May our Better Judgement an Wishdom Win Over our Petty Conflicts and Discord. One People, One Destiny.

  5. Bax , At least , you have now come to realize the good job Mr Mai Fatty has always been doing since the election . He is man of integrity , honesty , and bravery to speak the truth . He speaks with clarity and honesty unlike Halifa Sallah who never speak with clarity. Gambian people listen to him. He should continue to do his job as he started. He is the best appointment in this regime. I am very very happy that he is part of the regime. He understand Gambian people and the pain people went through for the last 22 years . He is very smart and educated lawyer. I will only pray for him . I will encourage him to join UDP so that he can president in the future .

    • Max…

      I am not a blind supporter or an unreasonable critic. I give credit where it is due and criticise where it is needed.

      On the challenges of the enforcement of law and order, Hon. Mai Fatty has done quite well, particularly in his approach of engaging with communities affected by unrest, and it is only right that we commend him.

      This is not a comparison between him and Hon. Sallah because the two have completely different roles, as members of different national institutions. I am certain that when happenings in the National Assembly are publicised like those of law and order, including at committee levels, Hon. Sallah’s contributions will not be found lacking, in every respect.

      Whilst you delight in reducing every argument to Hon.Halifa Sallah bashing, and have shown yourself to be unable to rise above such pettiness and petulance, I try to formulate my opinion from my assessment of every single event or action and thus deliver my personal view accordingly.

      I hope you can transcend this constricted sphere of seeing things as simply “black and white”, where you have consigned yourself, and open your mind to the possibility of the existence of other “colours” between your “black and white.” Only then can you do justice to all players in the Gambia’s political process and reformation.

      And whatever your biased views are of Hon. Halifa Sallah, he has been a towering figure in this national endeavour for a long, long time and nothing of your envious falsehoods and malacious propaganda can take that away from him, for history, that great recorder of events, has already recorded its verdict of Hon. Halifa Sallah.

  6. Janjanbureh

    Thank you Mai for the excellent job you are doing for the nation. Keep the ball rolling.

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