TAT editorial – Barrow again frowns on politicking after Dec 4


Candidate Barrow during one of his campaign rallies in KM, a few days before the polls opened on Saturday, said he wants to win the presidential election, and then his NPP party wins the National Assembly and local govt elections.

He added that this will ensure he has a solid grip at all levels of government to pursue his programs and policies without hindrance.

Now, after winning the presidential election, one wonders how he could win the National Assembly election in April 2022 and local govt election in 2023 without his NPP engaging in serious and massive politicking nationwide.

Yet, again, Candidate Barrow was adamant that after the presidential election, politicking must cease and all concentrate on joining him to focus and work on his development agenda.

This was the declaration he made at his Serekunda West campaign rally, where he dismissively recalled that when he first made such declaration, there was talk of him wanting to become a dictator.

Yet anyone whose closely watched the GRTS video must be concerned, seeing his body language, his facial expressions and the way he raised his hand in a warning gesture!

Is this a looming danger that must be recognized as such? Indeed, it is necessary to remind people that when Barrow earlier uttered his desire of clamping down on continued politicking, it set off alarm bells ringing.

By voicing his thoughts once again, it is evident that he is nursing such ideas – a sign of something gnawing at the mind – you badly want seeing something done; you cannot help saying so from time to time; it’s a manifestation of one’s psyche!

Of course, the lack of a proper grasp of governance issues based on the rule of law is highlighted by such pronouncements.

The safeguard, however, is that since he cannot govern alone; we’ll see how he could succeed in achieving his wish.

Moreover, it is clear that Barrow does not know that man is inherently a political animal; that man eats and breathes politics; that man cannot live and survive without politics!

Therefore, it is definitely time that our intellectuals came to the rescue, and shared the insights of philosophers on what politics entails in every modern society!

Just to mention one simple truth – that it is only through a political process that a person occupies the State House; that the constitution provided for a laid down political process – not through coup d’etat or some other illegal means – that one becomes the president of the Republic.

Indeed, it is through politicking that our National Assembly members get elected as the people’s representatives – to debate and approve the national budget proposed by the sitting govt through which it carries out national development, international relations, among others.

Indeed, it is through politicking that we select the municipal and area councillors to operate as local govt, and carry out the tasks we the people assign them at the local level.

And, we must remember that all these are based on laws crafted to ensure the sovereignty of the people.

Thus, it would be undermining good governance should any president, voted into office, ever attempts to interfere with the political process as spelt out in the constitution and other laws of The Gambia.

Thus people must be alert and be prepared to go to court to prevent any such attempt to stop politicking.

Definitely, whoever is president must respect the very first provision of the Constitution – Chapter 1, which states that “sovereignty resides in the people from whom all organs of govt derive their authority, and in whose name and for whose welfare and prosperity the powers of govt are to be exercised in accordance with this constitution.”

This same constitution outlines how authority to govern is obtained through a political process, again – not through a coup or some other unconstitutional means.

Definitely, Gambians after going through the TRRC process, with all the enlightenment received about what their govt could and could not do, would not allow anybody to seize their political rights!

It must Never Again happen in this country, and be rest assured that after our experience under the Jammeh dictatorship, who ever attempts to seize our rights will be confronted head on by patriotic Gambians!

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Sainey M.K. Marenah
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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