Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Gambia either has a Constitution or it doesn't

Dictator Yaya Jammeh of The Gambia
The lawlessness displayed in recent years by the regime of Yaya Jammeh has reached a crescendo with his proclamation that The Gambia is now an Islamic Republic, without national debate or notice of any kind.

The 1997 Constitution, tailor-made to the liking of the would-be dictator who worked behind the scenes to manipulate the final draft, states unambiguously that The Gambia is a Sovereign Secular Republic.

The fact that this particular clause is an entrenched clause, meaning it cannot be changed without a national referendum, means little to a lawless man whose only interest is to stay in power for as long as his shenanigans are tolerated by a traumatized population.

Yaya Jammeh has amended  The Gambia's Constitution more times in 21 years than the United States managed to amend its own in its nearly 240-year history. Of course, he could not have accomplished such a feat without the collaborative effort of a rubber stamp parliament that approves law that gives Yaya Jammeh the power to dismiss them from the National Assemble to which they were duly elected by the people - their constituents - to represent their interests.

These illegalities were and, still are, encouraged by legal advisers, including more than a dozen or so Justice Ministers who have aided and abetted the dictator in the usurpation of the power initially vested in the people in a Constitution that was already flawed coming out of the government printing presses back in 1997.

Just like in Yaya Jammeh's security force - arrest and then investigate - his legislative agenda is similarly unconventional and highly self-serving, dictated by expediency than by protecting and promoting the general welfare of Gambians.  It is all about protecting and perpetuating the tyrannical rule of Yaya Jammeh.  Thus the Constitution is treated with contempt to embarrassing levels. Toilet paper, naturally, comes to mind.