The Presidents honorary adviser on strategic affairs, development and emerging social issues has resigned from the portfolio barely five months since her appointment.
Mrs Jaw Manneh’s appointment in June courted controversy with many seeing the move as a political ploy to engage the staunch journalist who is also a victim of Jammeh’s brutal regime. Manneh had responded with adamance, refusing to back down following criticism of her acceptance of the honorary advisory position.
The seasoned journalist and development advocate who had been immensely vocal about environmental degradation challenges expressed broad optimism over her appointment in June but seemed to have a change of heart following the NPP/APRC alliance, which immediately puts her in the same camp with the regime party that previously incarcerated her.
Below is the full text of her resignation statement.
H. E. Adama Barrow
President of the Republic of the Gambia
State House, Banjul
Dear Mr. President,
RE: RESIGNING FROM THE POSITION OF HONORARY ADVISER ON STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION, DEVELOPMENT AND EMERGING SOCIAL ISSUES
I wish to inform you about my resignation from the position of Honorary Adviser on Strategic Communications, Development, and Emerging Social Issues with immediate effect.
The last few months have been both educational and challenging for me. I am dedicated and always devoted to contribute and bring insights to meaningful change in our country, the Gambia. I have not been able to access, utilize and exercise demonstrably the roles and functions I was meant to serve in your government. I have values, principles, ethics, and morals, which I cherish exceptionally and protect over time.
Your decision to ally with the APRC has many implications for governance and integrity associated with my roles and functions. I can’t entirely agree with the conceptual framework of the alliance, and it is my firm belief that this particular alliance undermines the integrity of your government and jeopardizes everything I stood for as a journalist, activist, politician, community worker, learner, and educator.
Personally, I am not against some form of amnesty at a later date to Jammeh and his cohorts of abusers, in the name of peace and reconciliation, but this blanket amnesty on these terms are unimaginable and an insult to Gambians.
From an ethical perspective allying with APRC is a total miscalculation of our spirit of NEVER AGAIN and a direct insult to the victims of Jammeh’s 22 years rule of terror I was excited at the opportunity accorded to me and willing to help to usher in democracy for the new Gambia. I would instead support you on that trajectory and lose elections than you win elections with a formal alliance with a dictator on these fraudulent terms that not only undermine our quest for democracy but shows an outright abuse of power and your weak leadership. It also clearly demonstrates you have no authority and you are not in control. This deal does not only show the lack of will-to-power as a leader, but that your party has been hijacked under your nose, the march to democracy undermined, AND VOTES AT ANY COST MIGHT LEAD TO A POLITICAL GRAVE.
Thus, I wish to thank you for allowing me to contribute to national development. My little knowledge, experience, and project development can be best served somewhere else in the country.
Fatou Jaw Manneh