By Buba Gagigo
Dr. Alieu Gibba, a senior lecturer at the University of The Gambia and former president of the UTG Staff Association, has said that Dr. Ismaila Ceesay’s status as a UTG staff member is unconstitutional because of his involvement in active politics.
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He said Concerns have been raised by some UTG staff to the university authorities about the unconstitutionality of Dr. Ismaila Ceesay working as a full-time staff at the University of The Gambia (UTG) and at the same time, holding a political office at the Citizens Alliance Party.
“It is clear to every Gambian that Dr. Ceesay’s active engagement in politics is a violation of section 170 subsection (1) of the constitution, which states: ‘A person holding an office in public service shall not hold office in any political party’. In accordance with this section, Dr. Ceesay is therefore urged to either obtain a leave of absence without pay from the University of The Gambia or to remain as a full-time lecturer and abstain from active politics and/or holding a political office,” Dr. Gibba said.
The UTG Lecturer said the constitution as the supreme law of the land should be respected and what is illegal cannot be lawful at all times.
He said the university authorities are aware of Dr. Ceesay’s situation as well as the legal advisers of the president, the activists, and the political party leaders, and Dr. Ceesay himself is fully informed about the unconstitutionality of his actions.
“As a lecturer of political science at UTG, would that not be a conflict of interest and a challenge for students with opposing views on contemporary politics? I, therefore, urge my colleague to abide by the law and do the needful. To avoid setting further precedence and to protect the university’s integrity, the university management is once again advised to promote good governance and the rule of law without fear or favor. Universities are institutions where good morals, values, and integrity are imparted, and UTG is not an exception. Our actions and behaviors as lecturers have a direct impact on students’ attitudes in public and civil service,” he concluded.