LETTER TO HON. ABUBACARR BA TAMBEDOU, FORMER AG AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE

Dear Hon. Tambedou,

Wherever you may be, with grave sorrow and melancholy I write to inform you that little Gambia is bereaved at the senseless demise of the product of one of your key orchestrated transitional justice institutions (CRC) – the Draft Constitution 2020. The sad news occured Tuesday 22nd September, 2020 at the National Assembly complex after days of politically driven debate over the Draft Bill. Actually, the death sent a surprising wave of shock and despair in the hearts of Gambians, more especially the critical mass of our population whose lives would have largely been contingent on the Draft.

Sad to say but your legacy and our collective wishes and aspirations have been strangulated seemingly at the behest of an element. The nation reels and sobs in hopelessness, as the #holistic reform agenda under the new dispensation that you have kick-started now swinging like a pendulum. A dark cloud of uncertain future hovers above the nation, simply because the people’s hope has been abruptly jettisoned to the bin by those we entrusted power. What an irony!

All well meaning Gambians are nostalgic for your temerity and audacity as AG and Minister of Justice. You meant well for The Gambia. You have conspicuously demonstrated this fact beyond belief at home and at international stage. Your passion to return the crippling Gambia to democracy and to end dictatorship and self-perpetuating rule was palpably profound. In this letter, be informed that your former office has complicitly killed what would have been your most precious legacy in the country. You firmly stood your grounds from onset of the enactment of CRC all through the drafting and submission stage of the new Draft Constitution. However, your departure really marked the beginning of the gradual death of the transitional justice process in The Gambia. But wait a minute! In one minute, I do think you knew this day would come much to the dismay of Gambians and that’s why you left beforehand.

Being at crossroads, what is the fate of TRRC and other transitional justice institutions, knowing full well that the CRC and all its works and the colossal investments went into futility? The answer, in my view, will be a doom galore.

My grandma would always tell me there is no need to cry over a spilled milk! Frankly, Baa, you should have waited to finish up the businesses you started. Indeed, personal advancement is sacrosanct. But in the crying voice of many Gambians, you could have held on for a stint to see all the reform processes through and through. This is perhaps you are the most competent one for Justice Ministry at this material time. See what your departure has arrogated to us as a people in dire need of not only constitutional reform but social, economic, institutional, civil service and a score of others. A new constitution should have been the starting point and should underpin all other processes. But it has been denied by few privileged Gambians. What a travesty of justice. Without a modicum of doubt, I know, like many other Gambians, that you would have competently defended the people’s project that cost millions of dallasi. The trend now predicts that all transitional justice institutions will be choked and trampled upon in turns with sheer impunity.

Finally, I thank you for the good intention and purpose you have for The Gambia and her wailing people. Indeed you served us beyond political expediency. And that’s enough for history to fairly judge you. Consequently, do know that the chance to usher in a new Republic became an utter fiasco, and the will and aspirations of Gambians being circumvented.

Your fellow compatriot,

Yankuba Manneh

Published by Emess Jammeh

Emess Jammeh is an ardent writer, Teacher, Youth Activist, Debater, Mentor, Article Reviewer and Editor. He is also a youth leader in many Civil Societies.

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