By MADI JOBARTEH
Why has the Inspector General of Police failed to arrest the driver of the vehicle alleged to have fatally knocked the five-year old girl Fatou Sanyang and three other people in Bwiam in the convoy of the President? Murder is a capital offence for which there must be accountability. The life of young Fatou cannot be wasted just like that and then compensated with an envelope of cash by the President!
Above all the President of the Republic bears primary responsibility to protect the rights of all Gambians. Section 17 of the Constitution imposes this obligation on the President. Therefore, what is expected of Pres. Adama Barrow is to ensure that the right to life of Fatou Sanyang and the other three people was protected in the first place. Where that life is damaged it is now the immediate duty of the President to repair that damage by ensuring accountability and justice.
Failure to ensure that there is accountability and justice for the killing of Fatou and injuring of three other people means the President and the IGP are aiding and abetting the violation of the rights of citizens with impunity. The convoy of the President is protected such that anyone who interferes with it will be arrested to face the law. Similarly, that convoy must not also cause injury or death to any citizen. If there happens to be any such killing by that convoy it is incumbent on the President to ensure that whoever is responsible faces justice immediately.
The President must not cover up this crime by visiting the injured in hospital and handing over cash to the family. What the Present must do, first of all is to call for investigation to make sure that justice is done. This blatant abuse of the rights of Gambians is the second to be reported in this presidential tour. Just last week a number of journalists were equally assaulted by members of the President’s convoy yet until today there has been no investigation or arrests or prosecution of perpetrators. For the IGP and the President to fail to ensure that there is redress means that they are complicit in these crimes which tantamount to blatant abuse of the Constitution.
After 22 years of killings of Gambians by Yaya Jammeh’s presidential convoys we do not expect that a new President will come around to also commit that same abuse against innocent citizens. We do not need a President who will cover up human rights violations with apologies, visits to hospitals and donations of cash. We need a President who will hold perpetrators to account to ensure justice.
I therefore demand that the IGP arrest and prosecute all those people who are responsible for the death of Fatou Sanyang and the injury of three other people as well as the brutal assault against the journalists. The Gambia Government must ensure that justice prevails all the time. Failure to ensure justice it means the Gambia Government is promoting abuse and impunity which would be a direct violation of the Constitution and the sovereignty of Gambians as well as a clear and direct threat to national security.
Failure by the IGP to prosecute the perpetrators I call on the victims – the family of Fatou Sanyang and the three other injured persons as well as the affected journalists – to take legal action against the perpetrators immediately.
For The Gambia Our Homeland