Good morning Mr Mbai,
This is Pa Musa Jallow former Secretary General and Mediator General during the post electoral impasse.
Great job but I have one beef to settle with you, but you published within journalistic standards.. that as SG, I allegedly colluded to steal D10 million. That was widely broadcast and remains on line and maligning my name and character.
The facts are distant from that and I am herein responding and trust you will correct the records.
First as everyone knows, I stepped in as SG and Mediator General when things were bleak and everyone thought The Gambia would descend into conflict with the International Community with ECOWAS and Senegal in particular, pushing for military intervention to remove former President Jammeh on one hand, and on the other hand, President Jammeh evoking his constitutional right to appeal the election results at the Supreme Court.
Then conveniently everyone forgets that the IEC came out with two results triggering the crisis and secondly the former President went on air to reject the results and state wrongly that he annulled them, only to be corrected and file an appeal at the Supreme Court. The Gambia Bar Association that made a lot of noise now accepts that it played a role in blocking the recourse to the Courts in their response to the statements by Pres Barrow during his Turkey trip.
When I came in and former President Jammeh went on air and we started the dialogue and mediation between the parties and the ECOWAS Mediation team came back and met with Jammeh after which they left with then President elect Barrow who settled in Dakar until his return on Jan 26 2017.
After Jammeh stepped down that 21st Jan 2017 evening and departed on the night of the 22nd Jan 2017, as the SG, I went on air to announce to the world that the Public Service and Civil Service awaited the return of President Barrow and had the then CDS Bargie go on air to do the same. The very next day, Sunday 23rd Jan 2017, I started full communications with Pres Barrow.
On Monday 24th Jan 2017, I convened senior PSs including then PS -1 OP, PS Finance, Commissioner General GRA at the office of the SG, and advised them as now that
1. The Constitution of The Gambia did not give guidelines for a transition and transfer of power and this was the first peaceful transfer of power since Independence, most of us never witnessed the transfer of power from Chief Minister P S Njie to D. K. Jawara in 1963, I believe.
2. The approved Budget for Government Expenditure did not have a budget line for a Transition of Power.
So, I advised and instructed that:
3. A new budget line be created under the Approved Budget for the Office of The President, then with about D975 million;
4. And an initial D10 million be vied into that budget line
That allowed us to prepare to welcome Pres Barrow back, establish a temporary office at Kairaba Hotel and fix the Fajara Residence of the Vice President as a temporary office and residence of the President and also provide other amenities for the safety and security of the President and designed VP et cetera.
That Budget line was further expanded to cover the costs of 2017 Independence Day celebrations and formal Swearing In of the President in line with custom, fixing State House et cetera.
The important point is that as SG, I did not see physical cash nor touch a dime and everything was done by the book according to the Constitution and Government Orders and Financial Instructions.
In the same vein, those pardoned by the new President went through the constitutionally prescribed process of evoking the Mercy Committee, recommendation and approval by the President and Gazetting.
So in anticipation of giving you the true version, I trust my name and that of then PS-1 OP, Mr Momodou Lamin Jaiteh and then Solicitor General, Ms Saffie Sankareh are cleared as we did our duties, first and foremost and in loyalty to our Constitution and Republic.
In closing, while I accept that folks had different motives and methods and even justifications, and many were engaged in a “psychological struggle” against President Jammeh, some or many of us served our Nation and remain loyal to our Nation.
We support the Government of the day when they deserve it but always have the greater interest of our Nation and People at heart.
With assurances of my regards always
Pa Musa Jallow
PS- I recall sometime in 2006, you were publishing names of civil servants that were supposed to be Jolas and I wrote you from the UK to object and to your credit, you published my missive and stopped that misconceived line.
Editors note: Thanks Mr. Jallow for the clarification. But the million-dollar question is: Why does it take this long for you to comment on the story? The story was published over a year ago. But it is all good. We appreciate the rejoinder.
Be rest assured that the story in question was published in good faith. At Freedom Newspaper, we have an open-door policy. We encourage folks to send in their rejoinders if anyone feels that what is being reported is not the representative of the truth. Thanks for your attention.