Madi Jobarteh Decries Parliament’s ‘Woefully Poor Performance’, Says MPs Who Receive Barrow’s Vehicles Have no Moral Authority
Prominent civil society activist Madi Jobarteh has criticized the performance of the National Assembly, describing it as woefully poor.
In an exclusive video interview with The Chronicle which will be aired Saturday, Jobarteh said the National Assembly “is the heart of our governance and development because it’s the key accountability institution in the country.” According to him, “if the government performs well it’s because the National Assembly is doing its job well. And if the government fails, it’s because the National Assembly is failing in its job.”
“The National Assembly’s failure to utilise the powers and tools given to it by the Constitution as a means to ensure effective oversight, for me is definitely concerning and it’s indicating a failure.”
No moral authority
Jobarteh conceded to the claim that the National Assembly members who took vehicles from President Adama Barrow’s anonymous donors have no moral right to reprimand the president for wrongdoing.
“Those who have received these vehicles have directly injured their own legitimacy and their own moral authority, and even their political authority. They have undermined the legitimacy and the legal and political authority of the National Assembly to do the job as required by the Constitution.”
Lack of Transparency
Jobarteh also accused the President Barrow of lacking interest and commitment to ensuring transparency and accountability in his administration.
“I think the greatest failure of Barrow so far is his inability or failure or refusal to uphold accountability. There is no effective and efficient method to control foreign travels within the government,” he told The Chronicle.
He said where there is bad governance, dictatorship and government failures, it’s simply because accountability is at its lowest level.
“It is one subject that Barrow does not talk about; accountability is not just about the management of resources but also in terms of delivery, performance…”
December Three Years Jotna protest
On the hot issue of whether or not President Barrow should step down at the end of his three years, Jobarteh called on Gambians not to tolerate political deception and lies.
“I don’t want a leadership that is not accountable to continue to be a culture in this country. I don’t want political lies to become a practice in this country because where political deception, political indecency becomes a norm in any society, the tendency for abuse to rise is very high. The presidency is not a joke.”
He said as per the Gambian constitution, a president derives authority from the people and called on Barrow to serve just three years and step down.
“We have to make sure you don’t spoil, you don’t pollute our legitimacy, our authority as a people. So for me, be it a president of anyone who is seeking political office in this country, people should hold you to account base on what you said. If you fail to do that I think people should rise against you to make sure you are removed and that legitimacy is taken back from you.”