Gambia the
This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

The Gambia: Barrow’s third-term bid exploits a vacuum, but unconstitutional, nonetheless

By Mathew K Jallow
A decade ago, military coups in Mali and Burkina Faso
rocked ECOWAS and the AU and spelled doom for Africa’s march towards full-fledged democracy. I mourned with an article titled: Gambia: Lessons of Mali, lessons of Burkina and lessons for Africa. The article eulogized the African Union and ECOWAS’s joint rejection of the two sickening military juntas’ mercurial behaviors, which were inimical to social stability and the doctrine of the rule of lawThe two countries gratuitous lurch from objective rationality to apocalyptic dystopia represented a clear departure from the new norm, yet it was quintessential African, nonetheless. The six decades since Africa gained political independence are marked by one constant; effortless ability of its leaders to proliferate adversarial monarchical systems that often flared up into implacable political conflicts. In the most recent eruption of political turmoil in neighboring Senegal, the jury is still out about the role government played in spawning the deadly week of violence. And whether the unflattering characterization of Senegal’s President Macky Sall as a thankless political leech has merit, is still yet to be determined. But one thing left unsaid is that Senegal’s indifference to pragmatic solutions to political challenges, real or perceived, is informed by a historical context replete with recurrent scenes of violent political destabilization. But, even while the recent violence in Senegal affirms a political orthodoxy particular to that country, there is strong likelihood the youth were spooked by ECOWAS leaders abominable behaviors in the recent past by amending national constitutions in order to hang on to power. Be that as it may, with a rich history of references to draw from in the ECOWAS region alone, our next country seems blind and indifferent to the political bedlam that has destabilized West Africa, over the last decade.

Gambia. The Gambia. My Gambia is a country where the promise of rebirth in a new incarnation, far from the moral and ethical deficits of the past, has, by design, never materialized, which since plunged the country in a dark shadow. Despite the intensity of the struggle to restore Gambia to the glory days of late Sir Dawda Jawara, recognition by Gambian diaspora of the need to map out a political strategy in tandem, has always underpinned efforts to remove Yahya Jammeh. With the struggle’s brain-power to eject Yahya Jammeh, out of the Gambia’s territorial jurisdiction, the political establishment at home demonstrated callous amateurism and underhanded management of the post-Yahya Jammeh transition. It was a blunder. And now its a disaster. By ration, the Gambia has supplanted Nigeria as Africa’s most corrupt country. Its like the wild west as government officials embark on a mad dash to memorialize their existences with mansions and plunder of the state’s meager resources donated by the west, loaned from China or fraudulently secured from international financial institutionsThat ongoing, relentless hollowing out of citizens’ rights is relevant to the subject matter at hand, is absolutely undeniable. There is cause effect factor in the corruption of the state on one hand, and African leaders pathological impulses to retain power even after the expiration of their constitutional terms limitsIn this, two manifestations of the moral weaknesses come into play; the trepidation of losing perks and privileges government offers, and the intoxicating exploitation of state power for the purpose of amassing wealth. Either way, in the ECOWAS sphere of influence, this has often resulted in state sanctioned mass murder as in Guinea-Conakry, and shattering of social order in Ivory Coast, Mali and Burkina Faso. This year the political space is teeming with rumors of Adama Barrow scheming to run for office again.

With practical management experience, my overarching interest is in establishing of a truly democratic stateAnd so, nothing else matters to me. Thus, it goes without saying that impartiality motivates my indulgence in the state’s governance styleThere is, unarguably, no perfect government system, but that doesn’t ignore the degrees of efficiency in managing human society in ways that ensure every bonafide citizen has guaranteed inalienable rights. Referring back to the subject matter at handearly diaspora plans for a three years transitional government, and a republican constitution, precluded this three term raw power grab. The way this three term issue was under the radar of many Gambians’ consciousness was not because it was inconspicuous, but rather, because it was part of the unflattering neutering of the Gambians political sensitivity. Generally, Gambians are adept at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Up until now, the prevalent credo in Africa is for citizens to cavalierly defer constitutional authority to their executives, in so doing, emasculate and subvert citizens’ rights, and undermine the entire political system. This is what Gambia is faced with, because the National Assembly voted down the draft Constitution that memorialized the two-term limit. Further, mediation talks initiated by the government to convince opposition actors in Gambia to strike down the term limits, went nowhere. Right now, it would be impossible for government to secure the required two-thirds majority of the voting population in a referendum to ratify the draft constitution. But the sweeping cannibalization of Gambia’s burgeoning democracy is the collective failure of every Gambian, but more so the educated minority who wield over-sized power and authority under the prevailing political circumstances. The 1997 constitution lacks legitimacy and so, the sooner the draft constitution is ratified by referendum, unchanged, the better. Barrow mustn’t exploit the vacuum of lack of constitutional term limits’ his government created to enable him to latch onto the idea of third term. The US constitution was drafted and ratified in four months; Gambia is taking eight years for a draft constitution that citizens spend millions on, only to have it gather dust in the shelves of the State House

Post Views: 5