Jun 12, 2008, 6:56 AM
Adama Barrow has urged Gambians to rely on the constitution if we disagree on
any issue relating to the affairs of the country, saying that the constitution
“Therefore, I want everybody to rely on the constitution, because the constitution defends everybody and that’s the only way we can move the country forward. But if you say the way you like things should happen and the other person also say he wants things to go the way he likes it, do you think this country will develop,” Mr. Barrow quizzed.
President Barrow was speaking recently during an interview with QTV on its Kacha Dula – the programme that gives people (interviewees) the opportunity to talk about current affairs, was responding to questions on the demand of 3 Years Jotna movement, a pressure group demanding his resignation at the end of his three years mandate.
He said: “The 3 Years Jotna movement protesting is about democracy and that we want to make sure that our democracy is strengthened.”
He said during his recently concluded Meet the People’s Tour, Gambians were asking questions that they were even afraid to ask in Jammeh’s era. “In fact, others were asking something that even belittles the president and yesterday (Jammeh’s era) they couldn’t do that. Therefore, it’s the same thing that the 3 Years Jotna movement are asking for.”
The message to 3 Years Jotna, he said, is that The Gambia needs to see the end of the transition. The issue of the president is not that much important, but the country is what is more important. “What makes Gambia important is because the work that we are doing currently is what will decide the future of Gambia and that will be Gambia’s foundation.”
He added: “I believe that I should set-up a new constitution that will dictate the future of The Gambia tomorrow. Therefore, these are issues that all Gambians should join me so that we can achieve those objectives. Our security sector reform is on-going. Today, you have ECOMIG here in the country; so we want if they are leaving we could be able to manage our own security. That can only be if we continue on our reform and capacity building, hence all hands must be on deck in ensuring that what we started is finished.”
The TRRC, he added, is currently on-going, stating that plans have been put in place in ensuring that this process is finished. “I know that this can’t happen today and finish today because it’s impossible. Therefore, everybody should head towards that direction and forget about the issue of position and put it aside,” he stated.
“If 10 people say three years and 20 say five years and 30 say 10 years; so who are we going to take? And all these are their rights. So, we have to follow due process.”
“Don’t be afraid of me but you should be afraid of the law and that if we disagree in anything we should go back to the constitution. If we disagree on issues relating to Islam we go back to the Holy Quran. Therefore, if we disagree on issues relating to the affairs of the country we should go back to the constitution.”
Mr. Barrow also said that he was not available when coalition leaders were discussing the three years agreement. “I am the head of the state but I can tell you that even when those discussions were taking place, I was not there. Where they were discussing about the issues of this agreement I was not present there. I can tell you that I have never seen all those documents until when I was elected as president. I have never seen it because my interest has always been The Gambia first.”
He said: “Today, if we want to go to election, even our voters’ cards are expired then how are we going to vote. We are on the process to see that we have new voters’ cards. The new constitution that is coming will determine the election coming. We can’t rely on the past constitution because that has never been our objectives.”