‘I Have Resigned from the Barrow Government Today’ Fatou Jaw Manneh

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.
Kombi North
West Coast
H. E. Adama Barrow
President of the Republic of the Gambia
State House, Banjul
Dear Mr. President,
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.

Best regards,
Fatou Jaw Manneh
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Mr. Sainey M.K. Marenah is a Prominent Gambian journalist, founding editor The Alkamba Times and formerly head of communications at the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) and Communications and PR Consultant for The Gambia Pilot Program, under Gamworks. Mr. Marenah served as the Social media Strategist and Editor at Gambia Radio and Television Services. He is also the Banjul Correspondent for Voice of America Radio. Sainey is a human rights and developmental journalist who has carved a strong niche particularly in new media environments in the Gambian media industry. Mr. Marenah began his career as a junior reporter with the Point Newspaper in the Gambia in 2008 and rose through the ranks to become Chief correspondent before moving to The Standard Newspaper also in Banjul as Editorial Assistant and head of News. He is a household name in the Gambia’s media industry having covered some of the most important stories in the former and current government. These include the high profile treason cases including the Trial of Former military chiefs in Banjul in 2009 to 2012. Following his arrest and imprisonment by the former regime of President, Yahya Jammeh in 2014, Marenah moved to Dakar Senegal where he continues to practice Journalism freelancing for various local and international Media organization’s including the BBC, Al-Jazeera, VOA, and ZDF TV in Germany among others. He is the co-Founder of the Banjul Based Media Center for Research and Development; an institution specialized in research and development undertakings. As a journalist and Communication Expert, focused on supporting the Gambia's transitional process, Mr Marenah continues to play a pivotal role in shaping a viable media and communications platform that engages necessary tools and action to increase civic participation and awareness of the needs of transitional governance to strengthen the current move towards democratization. Mr. Marenah has traveled extensively as a professional journalist in both Europe, Africa and United States and attended several local and international media trainings.

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