Omar Jallow, the leader of the PPP party and Minister of Agriculture said those of us wanting the declaration of assets by cabinet ministers to be made available to the public do not understand how the system works.
According to Jallow, if the ministers were to declare their assets to the public…, who is going to investigate to ensure the process was flawless or its accuracy?
“If I were to declare my assets in public, to whom will I present my assets and who is going to investigate if I am lying? This is a process. People were here for the past 52 years and this has never happened. I think people should appreciate Barrow for taking the initiative,” Jallow told The Standard Newspaper.
I am left to ask, is Mr. Jallow insinuating that they have already considered giving the Ombudsman some alternative facts. I mean, have they already considered hiding and barely telling us the truth and nothing but the truth.
What is there to hide or to lie about? I will give them the benefit of the doubt and say absolutely nothing. Well, for now, unless there are plans screw the public as their rule continues.
For decades, as politicians, we have backed you and supported you all. You have all made great sacrifices. In fact, we all did. Some of you gave up your personal well-being and that of your families. You sponsored opposition activities against Jammeh out of pocket.
You went broke and we get that. So what is this privacy and hiding about. Let’s be clear, this should not be grounds to recover the financial and other economic sacrifices anyone made, whatsoever.
For once, let us seize this moment as a country and as a people, especially for some of us who have enjoyed being part of the political class to forget about ourselves and not just to give back to the people that have given us these opportunities but to protect their interest instead of ours.
For the mere fact that for 52 years of our nation’s history, our constitution has been flaunted, raped and used as a toilet paper is enough for us Gambians to ensure public accountability of those in power.
Our institutions are far from being independent, even our media is not as independent and as free. But making the assets declaration accessible to the public means pro-democracy campaigners, interested members of the public and journalists would be able to investigate based on facts and ensure that they make looting of our taxpayers’ monies even harder.
We do not have to appreciate President Adama Barrow for taking this initiative. What is the use of declaring the assets in secret? It defeats the purpose of holding officials accountable.
For more than half a century of our history, we had the Ombudsman’s office and a system that has rooted corruption in our nation, robbed ordinary citizens, protected and gave the powerful few luxury at our expense, and gave the political class the license to act with impunity.
So it is not that we do not understand the system, we do not want the system. That is why Jawara was kicked out by Jammeh and that is why Gambian risked it all to boot out Jammeh as well.