FOROYAA Newspaper (Serrekunda)

10 December 2012

Gambia: While Gala Dinner Was Taking Place Two Problems Remained in Foroyaa's Hands

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The wisdom of the ages say that each must be one's brother's and sister's keeper.

The National Anthem says let justice guide our action towards the common good and join our diverse people to prove man's brotherhood.

The young girl was in tears when the father told her that he does not have the 775 dalasi requested for exam fees.

The principal has told the students that he has already taken the money to the West African Exam Council and would extend the deadline to Monday 10 December 2012 for the payment of the fees failing which the girl would not be able to sit to the grade 9 exams. This makes us to wonder at what level of the education ladder we could find free education for girls.

Furthermore, while Senegal is mourning the death of the Khalif General Mustapha Sey of of Tivaone who passed away in France on Saturday in Gambia the Family of Imam Baba Leigh cannot give any clear information to the Gambian media regarding his whereabouts and wellbeing since his arrest on Monday a week ago at about 10pm.

If this were to happen in South Africa Bishop Tutu's voice would have been thundering for the whole nation to be awakened to their moral and social responsibility to promote social justice, combat impunity and protect fundamental rights and freedoms.

Before the President of the Republic sends a delegation to Tivaone to pay respect to the religious leader it is important for him to find out were Imam Bab Leigh is kept and why he is held beyond seventy two hours.

Section 17 of the Constitution has made it abundantly clear that "The fundamental human rights and freedoms enshrined in this Chapter shall be respected and upheld by all organs of the Executive and its agencies, the Legislature and, where applicable to them, by all natural and legal persons in The Gambia, and shall be enforceable by the Courts in accordance with this Constitution."

The executive should not be left behind in protecting fundamental rights and freedom as required by section 17.

Suffice it to say that the solicitors and barristers of the country visited Barrister Amie Bensouda in full force to show solidarity, when she was arrested. We are yet to see the religious leaders appear in full force to give solidarity to Imam Baba Leigh and prevent his rights as stipulated under section 19 of the Constitution from being violated. No head of state will respect elders and religious leaders who do not give him or her wise counsel when he or she should act to prevent any violation the Constitution or miscarriage of justice. Sometimes what may lie between a person and his or her freedom is he initiative of men and women of integrity who take the step to tell those in authority the truth in a language they could digest. Which Gambian religious leader will take the mantle? Practice will tell as Foroyaa continues to alert men and women of conscience to live to be their brother's and sister's Keeper.

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