Monday, November 27, 2017

Mr. President, it’s going to be memorable as you mark your first day at the State House, in Banjul, ten months after been elected president of the Republic of The Gambia. We would like to welcome you as a president, your family and staff but also to equally remind of the daunting task ahead.

Mr. President, we pray that your stay at the presidential palace in the next four years be marked by success. But also be reminded that in governance, you cannot achieve your desired goals without due regard to the rule of law and freedom of the press. 

Mr. President, in the same vein, we would like to welcome you from your trip to Dubai which we assume was a very successful trip and very beneficial to the government especially at this point of transition when a lot of issues are pending and needs to be addressed.

Mr. President, We know that law reforms are a gradual process and we appreciate your administration’s efforts to create a Constitutional Review Commission, and the Human Rights Commission. These laws should be able to address corruption and corrupt practices that have close links to enjoyment of human and peoples’ rights and economic growth.

But the reasons why such bodies do not work at times is that, often they are not inclusive institution to the extent that the ordinary people are denied an entry point. It should be the interest of the nation to ensure that both public and private sectors have equal entry point to these commissions.

Mr. President, we don’t have any objections for your administration’s retention of false publication, and broadcasting laws but, however, if this is what you really want then it will be appropriate for you to seriously consider enacting right to information act so that anti-corruption campaigners, activists and journalists will be able to have accurate information to pursue in their quest to inform the general public.

Mr. President, your administration should always try to facilitate access to information promptly especially when it involves allegations of graft by public officials and members of your Cabinet. This will help to avert all sorts of rumor and speculations, defamation and character assassination often spreading across the length and breadth of the country and on social media.

Lastly Mr. President, we wish to appeal to your administration to muster the political-will to fight corruption from human rights approach in the same manner that you are addressing fundamentals of human and peoples’ rights of all Gambians.

We would like to congratulate NAWEC for some of the developments they have registered in trying to combat the electricity and water problems in the country. Keep it up and put up more efforts. We will surely reach there.

Good Day