By Abdoulie John
The Acting Secretary General of the Gambia National Bar Association (GNBA), Assan Martin, has said that the newly formed legal body is poised to make a difference through value added activities.
The prominent human rights lawyer was speaking Saturday at the launch of GNBA held at Baobab Hotel in Bijilo, some 12 km away from Banjul.
Lawyer Martin said the organisation was registered since 2011 and that they have decided to set up an interim executive to start business.
Over these past months, Gambians have been very active in exercising their newly won freedom. People are organising themselves with a view to playing a significant role in the country’s democratic process.
“We are not rivalring anybody or any organisation. It is just an avenue, a new platform where lawyers can also come to express themselves and they can fully be represented,” he remarked.
The existing Gambia Bar Association (GBA) has been the leading legal organisation in the country. In tandem with Female Lawyers Association of The Gambia (FLAG), they have been championing the cause of freedom and democracy. The initiators of the neo-legal organisation have vowed to bring about change in making sure GNBA will add value to the legal profession.
Lawyer Martin further stated that GNBA aims also to provide diversity as different organisations can do different things.
“Everything is geared towards advancing the cause of justice, and the adminstration of justice. Nothing else,” he reiterated.
Martin reaffirmed their commitment to work with all the stakeholders in the legal fraternity.
“It is a newly registered Bar, born in New Gambia and opening a new chapter.”
Senior counsel Lamin K. Mbodge, who is the brain behind the iniative, made it clear that he was very committed GBA member.
As a serious car accident has left him disabled, lawyer Mbodge is still determined to make his voice heard in the legal fraternity.
He spearheaded the formation of GNBA as “he realised that this is not the Bar he envisage for the future of this country.”
“After the registration process, I gave notices to all the relevant authorities,” he emphasized.
Explaining why the media was invited to their meeting, he said it is because they want show that GNBA opens its doors to Gambians.
“We welcome the press at anytime, anywhere. We cannot go without the press, and vice-versa,” he assured. “We set up this Bar to fight for the rights of not only its members, but also for the entire country.”
In an attempt to spill the beans, lawyer Mbodge said there are issues affecting the Bar (GBA). He was quick to add that a complete silence is prevailing over this situation.
“Silence is not the answer or solution to any problem,” he said.
Similarly, GNBA Interim President pointed out that lawyers should take a critical stance over issues that are affecting the country.
“This is only the way people will know they have a Bar that cares for Gambians.”
Counsel Ibrahima Jallow, a member of the GNBA Interim Executive, expressed their resolve to ensure that every lawyer in the country will have the opportunity to practice his or her profession.
“GNBA has already taken steps in engaging the General Legal Council,” he said.
He described GNBA as a platform for young lawyers to get and stay organized in order to achieve their dreams.