Alagi Yorro Jallow

(JollofNews) – Folks, what a contradiction from Mai Ahmed Fatty: Respect for the Constitution and Rule of Law. And Foroyaa Editorial of June 9, 2017.

I keep returning to Mario Cuomo’s famous dictum that you campaign in poetry but govern in prose. The poetry of campaigning is lofty, gauzy, full of possibility, a world where problems are solved just because we want them to be and opposition melts away before us.

The prose of governing is messy and maddening, full of compromises and half-victories that leave a sour taste in one’s mouth.

Mario Cuomo’s dictum — campaign in poetry, govern in prose — had it wrong. Mai Ahmed Fatty had it right: A contradiction or hypocrisy. If more politicians knew poetry, and more poets knew politics, I am convinced the world would be a better place. Interior Minister Mai Ahmed Fatty a leader of a political party and exile in 2005 wrote on his Facebook:

Those who swore an Oath to obey, protect and enforce the Constitution and other laws of The Gambia, should not be found wanting in its application. Leaders must respect substantive law, and must also strictly comply with procedural laws. When substantive law sanctions mandatory constitutional procedural prescriptions, omission to comply constitutes treason – endeavor to overthrow the Constitution. This, is the highest offense known to criminal law” (Mai Ahmed Fatty 2015).

Interior minister Mai Ahmad Fatty

 

Illegal Curfew In Kanilai  Editor June 9, 2017.
Foroyaa has checked whether any gazette has been published declaring a curfew in Kanilai. There was no such gazette up to the time of going to press. The authorities should bear in mind that anything declared or done without the authority of law is impunity.

It is therefore important for the authorities to adhere to the claims of the transition that the rule of law will not be violated by the state under all circumstances.

Foroyaa has gathered that very responsible citizens and political leaders have been moving from one authority to another to explain what should be done to manage the Kanilai crisis and prevent a recurrence without playing to the gallery.

The duty of the state is to protect the Constitution and the rule of law, adhering to it even during trying times. Failure to adhere to the principle of good governance and respect for human rights and rule of law will undoubtedly give rise to exposure of wrong doing.
Such exposures must undermine the integrity of a government nationally and internationally.

It is important for the authorities to do everything to reduce the tension and promote the situation of normalcy. It is not the desire of Gambians to live with each other under a climate of hate. Conflicts create hatred which undermines peace and good neighbourliness to strain every muscle to promote peace and good neighbourless is better than to waste one’s energy promoting hatred and discord. At these trying times the words and actions of all Gambians should be tempered with conciliation, peace and justice.

Those who swore an Oath to obey, protect and enforce the Constitution and other laws of The Gambia, should not be found wanting in its application. Leaders must respect substantive law, and must also strictly comply with procedural laws. When substantive law sanctions mandatory constitutional procedural prescriptions, omission to comply constitutes treason – endeavor to overthrow the Constitution. This, is the highest offense known to criminal law”(Mai Ahmed Fatty 2015).

By Alagi Yorro Jallow

The author is founder and former managing editor of The Independent, the Gambia’s only private newspaper before it was banned by the government in 2005. He was a Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy, a 2007 Nieman fellow and is the author of Delayed Democracy: How Press Freedom Collapsed in Gambia published in 2013.