VP condemns politicisation of executions
Monday, September 03, 2012
The vice president and minister f Women’s Affairs has strongly condemned the politicisation of the recent execution of nine death row prisoners, by certain people in the country and beyond. Her Excellency Aja Dr. Isatou Njie-Saidy was speaking during a courtesy call made to her Friday at her office in State House, by the Council of Elders of the West Coast Region.
The elders, who were led to State House by the governor of the West Coast Region, Alhaji Lamin Sanneh, were at the Presidency to appeal to the Gambian leader to halt the execution of death row prisoners. “I want to call on Gambians to have good intention for the country because those calling for sanctions against the country even though they are far but they have relatives here. Let’s pray for the peace and security of the country at all times. What has happened is the dictates of the supreme laws of the land,” she said.
The vice president expressed appreciation to the elders for the move they have taken, saying this is the right thing to do. She also reminded them that the Constitution of The Gambia was endorsed by all during a referendum, adding that capital punishment is nothing new as it was provided in the 1974 Constitution.
She further stated that capital punishment is practised in many countries around the world.”Why are those countries not criticised for still carrying the act?” she queried. “President Jammeh has remorse for humanity and the recent execution of the nine death row convicts was something that was done in accordance with the law. We live in a world where even natural death is deeply felt and President Jammeh also feels the same way,” she said.
VP Njie-Saidy also stressed the fact that the Gambian leader is a philanthropist who shares his wealth with the people. She used the opportunity to thank the WCR elders for their foresight, acknowledging that they have been with the president from day one. She further stressed that the Gambian leaderhas high regard for the Council of Elders, while assuring them that she will relay their message to him.
On their part, the elders acknowledged that the recent execution of the nine convicts was inline with the Constitution of The Gambia and approved by all citizen during a referendum.
Addressing the gathering, Isatou Gifanga-Jarju on behalf of the women of the WCR explained that they came to relay a message through VP Njie-Saidy to the Gambian leader. She said the recent execution of the nine people was done in accordance with the Constitution of The Gambia. “It was not something done by President Jammeh neither the members of the cabinet. President Jammeh is committed to the development of The Gambia and what he has done is what should be as it in the constitution,” she added, while once again appealing to the president on behalf of Gambian women.
Jabero Jabang and Modou Jarju, both members of the Council of Elders, expressed their resolve to rally behind President Jammeh for the development of the country. Like previous speakers, Jarju stated that Council of Elders was constituted to mediate in terms of difficulty.
Alhaji Demba Sanyang, the Paramount Chief of The Gambia, thanked the governor WCR and mayor of KMC for their foresight. He said that that the Council ofChiefs remains steadfast to resolve disputes anywhere in the country. Like other speakers, he appealed to President Jammeh to halt the execution of the remaining death row prisoners on behalf of all Gambians. He however, stressed that the recent excecutions are not new to the country, as it occurred in the country way back in 1985. He also stressed that it was done in accordance with the Constitution of The Gambia. Sanyang explained that every country has a constitution and called on people to respect the rule of law.
Alhaji Lamin Sanneh, the governor of the WCR, expressed similar sentiments while praying for peace and stability in the country. The WCR Governor pointed out that President Jammeh has done a lot for the people of this country which is visible for all see. “What he has done is what should be done as it is the dictates of the Constitution of The Gambia. But we want to appeal to him to halt, even though it is called for in the Constitution of The Gambia. We are a sovereign state like others which still carry out capital punishment and none criticises them for the act,” he told the gathering.
NAM for Foni Jarrol and the APRC desk officer of the WCR, explained that every
national law goes to the National Assembly for ratification, and after being
ratified becomes law. He averred
that the Gambian leader has done the right thing as capital punishment is
practiced in many countries and is in the Constitution of The Gambia.
He went on to point out President Jammeh’s generosity to his fellow countrymen citing the sponsorship of countless individuals to the Holy City of Mecca among a host of others. Hon. Colley then on behalf of the entireresidents of WCR appealed to President Jammeh to see whether brutal killing in the country will cease.
The minister of Regional Administration, Lands and Traditional Rulers, Lamin Waa Juwara, thanked the WCR elders for what he called their foresight.“Everything in this world has a way and procedure and your coming here to appeal to President Jammeh, for the fact that the act was in accordance with the Constitution of The Gambia, is what is expected of an elder. We hope he [President Jammeh] will heed to your appeal,” he said.
Like previous speakers, Minister Juwara reminded the gathering that President Jammeh has sworn to defend and protect the Constitution of The Gambia. He also lamented the fact that since the executions some elements have been calling for sanctions against the government of The Gambia.
He continued: “But why they did not sanction those countries who even today carry out capital punishment? If you kill someone and proven guilty by the court of law in the country, you have right to appeal, which was done in this case.” He then stressed that the interest of the country is paramount and that the constitution belongs to The Gambia. “Yes, nine people were executed, but what of those killed by those condemned to death?” he queried.
The Attorney General and minister of Justice, Lamin Jobarteh, hailed the crucial role of elders in any society and thanked the WCR elders for the move. He reminded the gathering that the Constitution of The Gambia was endorsed by all during a referendum. “If you kill, you will beprosecuted. In the event you can’t afford a lawyer, the government will provide it for you and convicts are also given right to appeal at the country’s highest court,” he added.
Minister Jobarteh said that no one should be deprived of his or her life intentionally, stressing that anyone who thinks reasonably should know that President Jammeh will not do anything against the Constitution of The Gambia. He urged people to work towards the maintenance of peace and stability in the country, while commending the efforts of the WCR elders.
The minister for Presidential Affairs who is also the secretary general and head Civil Service, Dr. Njogou Bah, on behalf of the government expressed appreciation for the move. He explained that the Gambian leader applying death penalty is a provision in the country’s supreme law. “Those executed were tried in accordance with the law, convicted and given the chance to appeal their sentence,” he pointed out.
The Presidential Affairs minister further reminded the gathering that people must not forget the victims of the death row prisoners. He stressed that the peace and stability in the country will never be compromised by government, adding that death penalty and subsequent executions would serve as a deterrent to would-be murderers.
Author: Sheriff Janko