Apr 20, 2016, 11:34 AM
It is extremely disappointing to read of the arrest of Hon. Dawda Manneh the APRC National Assembly member for Nianija constituency on suspicion of drug trafficking. He must now face the justice process and prove his innocence if he is innocent. If he is guilty he must face the full force of the law. His arrest unfortunately brings back bad memories for many in the form of the Musa Susso case.
The APRC National Assembly Member for Kombo North in the year 2000 was arrested and later convicted of drug trafficking. He was given a seven-year jail term but later pardoned. When that case finished most people hoped that there might never be another like it as when people elect National Assembly Members they, rightly, expect them to be utterly beyond reproach.
It is an honour to serve the people of this nation as their elected representative and this scale of this honour should never be lost on any elected representative. Politicians are the servants of the people. They make the laws of the land which are supposed to be there to protect the peace and prosperity of the nation. The least that we as a public can expect is that the elected representatives adhere to these laws.
A National Assembly Member must be beyond reproach in all matters but most especially with regard to the law. Few things enrage the public like the exposure of hypocrisy. To see the laws broken by those who are elected to make them sticks firmly in the craw of the electorate. When a man or women is given the privilege of being referred to as Honourable when elected they should live up to the name.
To ensure that people live up to this title we would ask the parties to vet their candidates very thoroughly before elections to ensure that no bad apples make their way onto the ticket.
This process would help all concerned avoid the kind of embarrassment and negative political fallout that comes from a case like the Musa Susso case. Unfortunately the cases of alleged wrongdoing on the part of National Assembly Members are not confined to drugs and involve other types of alleged offences.
We pray for the day when all elected to our national parliament to represent the people of their constituencies will not be hypocrites and serve their people and always respect and obey the laws of this great nation.
"O what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!"
Sir Walter Scott