It is with deep concern and dismay that we received the news alleging an attempted Coup d’état by some members of the Gambian Armed Forces. The Gambian Civil Society unequivocally condemns this move by our people in uniform and further renounce any form of unconstitutional change of Government.
We urge the Gambia Government to uphold and abide by the rule of law and transparency in handling the situation. Citizens demand to be fully informed and on time on the state of affairs.
We wish to categorically state our total repudiation of a military coup which is utterly unjustified, unnecessary, and condemnable. As a country that has suffered 22 years of brutality from a regime that came through the barrel of the gun, claiming to be soldiers with a difference, all Gambians must be alert and stand against any attempt to take us back to being under military rule in this country.
Furthermore, a look around the sub-region clearly indicates that military rule once started becomes a never-ending cycle of political disruptions in which the blatant violations of human rights and plunder of public wealth become the order of the day. Military rule is a huge setback on the ability of a society to govern itself hence it must be avoided by all means. We must be resolved as a people ‘NEVER AGAIN’ should we allow ourselves to return to tyrannical leadership.
As civil society, we strongly hold that the governance of the country should only be along the lines of constitutionalism within a democratic dispensation. No amount of disagreement with a sitting government nor the shortcomings of a democratically elected government should warrant any citizen, more so soldiers decide to pick up arms to change the will of the people. The military is not a governance body hence it is not their business to intrude into the governance processes and structures of the republic.
To our men and women in the security services, we salute you for your sacrifice and invaluable service to our dear Motherland and urge you to resist all temptations of unconstitutional change of government. We trust that those amongst you with ill motives will be speedily weeded out to protect the integrity of the majority of patriotic service women and men. Hence our call for Security Sector Reform, rings louder today than ever.
In conclusion, we wish to remind His Excellency, President Adama Barrow that he bears primary duty to ensure that democracy, good governance, respect for human rights and the adherence to the rule of law prevail in the country. In this regard we also remind the men and women of the Gambia Armed Forces of their obligation to uphold and defend the Constitution of the Gambia and refrain from any acts contrary to it. Meantime, we ask all citizens to be alert and stand in defense of democracy and the Constitution.
The Gambia Our Homeland.
John Charles Njie Chairman, TANGO