young people remains resolute in their disapproval of the recent arrest of
University of The Gambia political science lecturer Dr. Ismaila Ceesay and the
appointment of former President Yahya Jammeh’s APRC party a one-time national
assembly member Musa Susso as President Barrow’s youth adviser.
The latest youth empowerment organisation to show their condemnation of the two developments is Activista The Gambia, a youth network that focuses on campaigning and advocacy through mobilization and engagement of youth at local, national and international levels on issues that affects their lives and livelihoods.
As an advocacy group that stretches its arm to fighting against all forms of injustice and violation of human rights, Activista said the arrest of Dr. Ismaila Ceesay and the appointment of Musa Susso as the presidential adviser on youth matters do not reflect the real meaning of the birth of a New Gambia.
Dr. Ceesay has been in the helm of the struggle during Gambia’s last political impasse emanating from the 2016 Presidential election. When former President Jammeh insisted on power after he was defeated by President Barrow, it was Dr. Ceesay who called on him to step down and respect the will of Gambians as a member of the University’s faculty. “Dr Ceesay is a patriot who serves as a role model to many young people and a good citizen of The Gambia. He has been in the forefront during the struggle and led a movement that played a crucial role to the birth of the New Gambia,” the organisation said.
They said like any other Gambian, Dr. Ceesay has a right to freedom of expression which is guaranteed in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights which guarantees freedom of expression under Article 19 and Article 9 respectively, of which The Gambia is a signatory and should not be intimidated or harassed for performing his duties as a Political Scientist and a commentator.
Dr. Ceesay deserves to have his rights respected and protected by The Gambia Government for that is The Gambia we voted for and The Gambia we want. “Activista joins the rest of the youth fraternity to condemn these acts in totality. We demand that the government desist from such acts and to publicly apologize to Dr. Ceesay and the rest of the country and promise not to repeat such acts.
They said Gambia need an inclusive and accountable government that will respect the rule of law, treat every citizen equally and create the enabling environment for a rapid national development.
On the appointment of Musa Suso as Presidential adviser on youth matters, the network members registered their disappointment, calling the choice a wrong pick and urged the president to rescind the appointment. “There are experienced and competent youth in this country to advice the president on youth matters.”
On the establishment of Adama Barrow Foundation for Inclusive Development and Fatoumatta Bah Barrow Foundation, the network said they are hugely concerned and taken aback by the move by the president. “Foundations like the ones established by the former President Yahya Jammeh serves nothing other than institutionalising corruption.”
The network says President Barrow has a responsibility of being an exemplary leader hence he must dissociate himself and his government from any action that is reminiscent of the ugly past.
We therefore call on the President to disband these foundations and focus his attention in reconciling the nation, improving governance and defend fundamental human rights of the people.
We voted for a Gambia where people live in justice and dignity; a Gambia where citizens can freely express their opinion without fear of reprisal; a Gambia where corruption is not institutionalized, but eradicated.