Why Gassama Deserves Nomination

I want Gambians to join me to congratulate Hon. Foday Gassama on his nomination to the National Assembly by His Excellency President Adama Barrow. I wish you best of luck in this noble duty. You deserve it.

Mr. Gassama has been a staunch supporter of the United Democratic Party (UDP) since 1996 until his elevation to the position of the party’s Regional Youth Coordinator for West Coast Region. He was also the local court interpreter for our party and its supporters during the trials of our party leader and executive.

Like many UDP die-heart, nothing would drain Gassama’s political energies – not even many illegal arrests and detentions. Foday was among the 14 opposition youths that were detained and charged for organising a sensitisation campaign in a Tanji residence in 2014. Mr. Gassama was also part of the Concerned Gambians team I led. Our goal was to fix the broken NADD. The team comprised of Gambian youths from all the political groupings that formed NADD. Our sole purpose at the time was to bring political leaders back to the table for a possible reconsideration of their positions given the conditions our country and her people were going through under the clutches of dictatorship.

Foday fought selflessly and stood jobless for 24 years just to see a free and democratic Gambia where everyone would freely serve their country without being oppressed. In so doing, fearless Foday Gassama remained very strong in the face of torture, disappearances without trace or even death. His efforts could only be compared to those of our country’s unmatchable political icons in the persons of the late Momodou Lamin Shyngle Nyassi and Lang Marong (may Allah grant them a resting place in Jannatul Firdaus). Amen.

Hats off to Foday Gassama for leaving an indelible mark in the hearts of all peace loving and patriotic Gambians for offering selfless services that culminated in a freedom we are all proudly enjoying today. Thank you very much Hon. Foday Gassama for your name shall remain in our liberation history books for posterity. May Allah bless you and your family.

Burama Sanneh (Fabou)



  1. Fabou ,
    We all acknowledge the sacrifices of those gallant men and women who fought to liberate our country. Foday is not alone in that group . Mrs Jaiteh was also part of that group. Our concern shouldn’t be about praising our fellow citizens who fought courageously to bring freedom to the country but should be about the main reason why our freedom was violated in the first place. That is “What has happened that led to the violations of our constitutional rights”? . Foday is nominated by President Barrow who violated our constitution when he fired Mrs Jaiteh . Instead of you talking about unconstitutionality of Mrs Jaiteh firing , here you are failing to acknowledge the constitutional violation while praising Foday’s nomination . What is the essence of our fight when Barow is violating the constitution Jammeh violated. It is not a surprise to see these violations because Barow surrounds himself with uneducated politicians and people who are after their selfish interest. These are the job seekers without any meaningful career in their lives. Intelligent people learn from the past and think about what need to change for the benefit of every single person.
    It is a disappointment to see you and some Kaironews staff to go against the same principles you fought against Jammeh. Both Barrow and Jammeh violated our constitution when they fired nominated members of our National Assembly. You are the same people few years ago talking all kind of language against Jammeh but today you are also the same people praising unconstitutional decisions of President Barrow and praising his nominee . Africa’s political backwardness is mainly lack of integrity and intelligence leadership with vision to transform our politics and economic conditions. Barrow’s ignorance and betrayal of our aims and aspirations are truly reflected in the in unconstitutional decisions he continue to make. This is the fact you need to understand. There are people who are silent but their contributions are far more than loud-mouth political surrogates .
    Finally , I do not expect you to post this commentary because I know some of you are in bed with dictator Barrow . But the sake of the truth, I want someone to read and reflect on it . You can try to suppress the truth but you will never succeed because all those who attempted before failed woefully. Please go ahead and put this commentary in your dustbin as you have been doing since I disagree with your political affiliation. Remember, I will never stop and I will continue with this New front until justice and truth prevails. Until then keep praising Barrow .
    Thank you

  2. Kinteh (Kemo)

    With all due respect, the unlawful and cynical nomination of Gassama to replace a sitting Law-maker and a UDP member must be rejected by the entire UDP family.
    Nobody is against Foday as a person. In fact it would have being a cause of joy for a UDP-member to be nominated to serve as a member of parliament. But this nomination is not a joy. In fact, it is a shame that Mr. Gassama accepted this nomination. The reasons for my conclusions are three fold:

    FIRSTLY, the president does not have the constitutional authority to sack a national assembly member. The under section 88 1(b9 of the 1997 constitution only gives the president power to nominate or revoke a nomination during the “Nomination” and before the nominated person is duly confirmed in the post and took oath of office. That is his letter to revoke the nomination did not carry any citation of constitutional clause to revoke a “nomination” of a sitting national Member. The nomination is time-limited period and it cannot be extended to cover a whole legislative period. Since the parliament already has the stipulated 5 nominated members, the nomination of Foday Gassama is worthless and its enforcement is a breach of the constitution. Gassama is complicit in the disregard of the laws and norms of the country and there is nothing honourable about that. If his genuine, he would do the honourable by rescinding the nomination.

    Let’s be clear;

    Even recalling elected MPs is not an easy thing to do. We understand that an intention was spelt out in Section 92(a) & (b) of the constitution but the constitution merely tasked the parliament to create the technicalities of Recalling / dismissing an elected MP. As it stands today, recalling an elected MP is practically impossible even if the required 1/3 constituency signatures were gathered and submitted to the speaker of the national assembly because the said legislation does not exist.
    Therefore, citing Gambia Bar Associations standpoint on the issue, the only possibilities to dismiss a national member as stipulated in section 91 (as amended) and section 93 of the constitution are
    A.) Negligence of duty. concretely that a member staying away from national sittings may be discipline at the initiative of the national assembly speaker that could lead to dismissal by a motion backed by not less than 2/3 of the members ;
    B.) A conviction by a duly constituted law court that can provide the speaker the right to open dismissal proceedings against a member and again any dismissal must be backed by at least 2/3 NAMs.
    These are the known practicable means of getting rid of a NAM who is neglecting duty or has become criminal. There is no law or an intention by the drafters of the constitution to have 5 MPs at hostage of the whims and mood swings of a president. (Even though that was the open intention of the president who commissioned the constitution).
    The intention and spirit was not to have a MP (elected or nominated to the position) to be at the mercy of the executive they were sworn to control and exercise oversight powers over. The intention cannot be that a NAM who enjoys full lawmaker obligations and equal voting right, is not equally protected from arbitrary dismissal. That does not make sense and in the absence of clear procedure, the status quo for all NAMS remain. That is, they are protected equally until the NA itself decide to remove the immunity of one of her members. At the very latest the voters have their verdict at the polls. By the way, the same goes for the president. A clueless president cannot be dismissed just like that. It requires impeachment proceedings and the backing of 39 Gambian NAM to send a president packing.

    SECONDLY, due process was not served here. Accordingly, the citing of the constitution to nominate and install Gassama is fraudulent. Since the parliament already has the stipulated 5 nominated members, nominating Gassama under the disguise of a constitutional section 88 1 (b) of the 1997 constitutional is abuse of power and an autocratic tendency. UDP had fought such abuses relentlessly for over 22 years and a genuine UDP-member should not be an accomplice in the abuse of the powers conferred on the presidency.

    THIRDLY, the attempted firing disrespect the UDP party and the leadership. Hon. Ya Kumba Jaiteh is the head of the women wing of the Party. If President Barrow respects the UDP, and knowing fully well that Hon. Jaiteh is a prominent member of the party, then this is not the way to do things. We don’t yet know what Hon. Kumba Jaiteh has done to warrant an attempt on her tenure as member of the NA. UDP know and understand that there are Jammeh remnants and few UDP opportunist working together to diminish the influence of UDP in the Barrow gov’t. Barrow is lending hand to this unholy alliance for political expediency. The noises being made are officials employed in gov’t services and due to the behaviour of the president, these people feel threatened with loss of their livelihood if they are seen to be very loyal to the UDP. These are few people who are either opportunist or innocent gov’t employees placed under duress. The masses out there are not pocketed!
    This approach by a sitting president is not new to UDP albeit UDP is surprised that someone who was hoisted to the top job on their back is turning against them. That is a surprise but surmountable. The early shock is clearly fading and the new reality has already set in.
    THE REAL POWER STRUGGLE on Display and behind the scenes are the concerted efforts by Jammeh remnants to wrest control from Barrow and diminish UDP influence in the new gov’t. The goal is easy to see through. They don’t want the reckoning and they are doing everything possible to rally around Barrow. And since Barrow find himself politically cornered, he increasingly feel not bounded to the mandate that got him elected in the first place but rather the egomaniac self-interest goal to just remain in power- at whatever cost. Including rehabilitating Jammeh cronies and dismissing the cries of the Victims for rectitude.

    FINALLY, Grounded on these reasons, Hon. Jaiteh should not sue anyone. As the case of Solo Sandeng showcases, the justice ministry headed By Tambedou is not interested in the fates of the victims of Jammeh brutality and any complaint at the courts will just drag on indefinitely. Hon. Kumba Jaiteh is still a NAM until the NAMs decide that she did something wrong and open proceeding against her. Until then she should stay and Barrow must be forced to send police to remove her from the post and jail her for resisting the unlawful removal. And it is my belief that anyone calling themselves UDP supporters/ members should stand by Hon. Jaiteh.
    Congratulating Foday Gassama on an illegal appointment is pure opportunism!

    Kemo Kinteh
    Resident Switzerland

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