Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) – The primary and central role of any constitution is to function as the adhesive bond between inhabitant of a nation via laws that are just, fair and equitable to all in that land. In layman terms to function as a referee.
The Gambia happens to be one of a handful of African countries with over 200 years of steady, mutual, respectful and harmonious interfaith relations. As of today, January 2020, never once has Gambia been so divided. The primary catalyst for these divisions is none but CRC Leadership. Post CRC draft Christo-Islamic relationship within The Gambia is on a downward spiral descending towards deterioration. The most recent CRC draft have failed to replicate pre draft religious equilibrium. Thus, leader Justice Cherno negligence at duty amounts to SOCIAL MALPRACTICE.
- TO STRENGTHEN OUR NATIONAL UNION BUT NOT TO WEAKEN
The Gambia as a union of her people, multitude of tribes and religions like Islam, Christianity, and informal faiths such as Juju and Galang worshipers. Our national union has always been strong. Post these CRC draft suspicion and unease among the people have become a national pathosis.
2. GOAL IS TO EVOLVE BUT NOT TO DEVOLVE
In the immediate post-colonial, it was fair and reasonable to have Cardy courts given the obvious limited access to conventional education, along with limited number of lawyers. Cardy courts were put in place as a STOPGAP MEASURE, eventually transitioning and integrating existing national common civil law system. 50+ years post-independence one would expect a move towards expanding the reach of common law but instead CRC recommends expansion and strengthening of Cardy courts via the infusion of Sharia into the constitution, in effect the result will be DEVOLUTION instead of EVOLUTION.
- USER FRIENDLY
Constitutions are supposed to be succinct; concise, easy to understand, simple and sweet. Easy to read instead of a booklet, we got a textbook!
- THE TASTE IS IN THE PUDDING
For many these CRC drafts being served is a bitter pill to swallow. Once dormant voices of intolerance have found solace in these drafts, they have since been emboldened to the point where many are pushing for their intolerant ways to be normalized and established as the norm for all Gambia.
- DISTRACTIONS FROM CREATIVITY
Limited energies that could have been spent on creativity or other pressing social matters must suddenly get diverted towards these low-key religious conflicts. Meanwhile, pressing constitutional matters such as diaspora integration and citizen status hove gotten relegated to the backburner.
In conclusion, Justice Cherno as the sitting chair of this community along with the rest of CRC members should be viewed and held solely responsible for these most resent discord. We all expect Justice Cherno to be the most informed and socially responsible member of this body. At the very least, minimal expectation of this committee is TO MAINTAIN STASTUS QUO and at best to add or improve upon an already established status quo. On that task this body has failed. Thus, at this stage responsible Gambians, adults within our national room, political and party leaders, must now step in to put a halt to these rapid social decent.
Justice Cherno is expected to have seen what religious fall out looks like. I will attempt to make my point by using an analogy of the explosive Nitroglycerin. Knowing fully well Nitroglycerin is highly unstable, similarly, religion is equally as unstable within the context of African people. Then why on earth would any informed or responsible leader take the extra affirmative deliberate step of agitating a bottle of AFRICAN RELIGIOUS NITROGLYCERIN?
Dr. Samuel B. Artley, DMD. FAGD.