‘Barrow has highest regard for constitution’

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

In the wake of sections of the public sometimes questioning the president’s respect for the Constitution based on some of his decisions, the Justice Minister Abubacarr Ba Tambadou has claimed that President Adama has so much respect for the Constitution of The Gambia that he never said no to anything that will contravene the supreme law of the land.

Speaking in an exclusive interview on the popular daily morning radio show: “Coffee Time with Peter Gomez” on West Coast Radio on Tuesday, the Justice minister said that President Barrow is one of the most peaceful presidents The Gambia will ever have.

“He is making his best effort to uphold the constitution”, he said. “There has never been at any point in time that he sought my advice on a constitutional matter and I gave it and he acted otherwise, never!”

“And I’m saying for the record so that everybody knows he is making his best effort to uphold the constitution. Just because somebody has a different interpretation of the provision of the constitution does not mean the president violated the constitution because the only body responsible for interpreting our constitution is the Supreme Court.”

Ba said, people having a different interpretation on a section of the constitution does not mean that the head of state has no regard for the constitution, saying people should not confuse their personal views with the president’s responsibility.

Responding to a question if he would advise the president to use the security forces to clamp on peaceful protesters, the Justice minister quickly responded with an admiration for the peaceful nature of the Gambian leader.

“This president is perhaps one of the most peaceful presidents this country will ever have. He means well, he is well intentioned,” the Justice minister said of Barrow.

He acknowledged the challenges the government encounters as the country transitions from dictatorship to democracy but emphasised how peaceful Mr. Barrow is, saying “our president is very peaceful and the issue of peaceful protest is a matter that I have taken upon many occasions within government; and I think there is clearly a presumption in favour of the exercise of fundamental rights and those rights should only be limited in specific circumstances. But I think we are learning our lessons as a government.”

Author: Sankulleh Gibril Janko