“Having said that, it is also necessary to remind the Speaker that after all she is not an elected Member of the National Assembly such that even if she is the Speaker, she must be mindful in expelling an elected member out of the house. Halifa Sallah is a directly elected representative of the people while Mariam Denton is only a nominated member by the President without the consultation and consent of the people of the Gambia.”
The quotation above clearly exhibits Madi Jobarteh’s ignorance of the law or constitution of The Gambia. As a prominent Civil Rights Activist, Mr Jobarteh needs to go and read the constitution if he wants to do his job better. When it comes to the constitutional responsibility of the Speaker, it makes no difference whether Mr. Sallah is directly elected by the people or nominated by the president. His disruptive behaviour in the National Assembly is the issue at hand which should have been addressed rather than beating about the bush. Mr Jobarteh’s suggestion that the speaker is not an elected member of the National Assembly but was nominated by the President without consultation and consent of the people of The Gambia is clearly another prove that he is ignorant of the constitution. The constitution empowers the president to nominate the speaker of the National Assembly. As an elected leader, President Barrow makes decision on behalf of Gambian people. Therefore any suggestion that the president needs to consult and seek the consent of people is the highest form of ignorance of the power, rights and responsibility of the president.
In Mr Jobarteh’s mind, the idea that the president needs to consult and seek consent of The Gambian people before any nomination of the Speaker is further indication that the so-called human rights activist lacks basic understanding of rule of law and responsibility of head of state. Mr Jobarteh and his types continue to mislead people, proclaiming to be expert in constitution matters. Mr Jobarteh also failed to remind himself that President Barrow was already elected by the people and given constitutional mandate to defend and uphold the same constitution which gives him the right to nominate speaker and four other members of National Assembly. Madi was talking like an empty head looking for public attention. How can the president consult and seek consent of the people when he was already given the mandate to do so? It is amazing to see such people continuously misquoting the constitution which favor their political ideology while dishonestly ignoring constitutional provisions which did not suit their agenda. It was such deliberate constitutional violations which led to 22 years of gross constitutional violations characterized by lawlessness and officialization of impunity in the country. Mr Jobarteh was in fact silenced during those difficult years as he was afraid to show his constitutional expertise.
The constitution of The Gambia is clear about the mandate of the Speaker which is to ensure fair legislative hearing and smooth functioning of the legislative body. The Speaker has every right to suspend any member who interrupts or disrupts smooth functioning of National Assembly. In the video, Mr. Sallah could be seen interrupting the Minister of Finance and that violate smooth functioning of the House. In every civilized society, there should be law and order which makes democracy work for everybody and peaceful coexistence of the citizenry . However, the beauty of democracy is to allow ignorant people to express themselves but it is our responsibility to correct them when necessary. It is this reason we must all be vigilant in protecting and preserving our democracy and constitution.