The Unlawful Dismissal of Lamin Darboe
Section 13 of the National Youth Council Act gives authority to the President to appoint the Executive Secretary in consultation with ‘the Council and the Public Service Commission’. The entire Act did not speak about the removal of the Executive Secretary.
However we know that based on Section 231(5) of the Constitution a power given to a person or authority to appoint does also include the power to dismiss. In fact Section 231(4) indicates that the person or authority who apppoints in consultation with another person or authority is not required to consider or act according to the advice of the entity that it must consult.
This means the President can indeed sack Lamin Darboe without having to consult the Council or the PSC or take on their advice. But the need to consult only relates to appointment alone. The procedure and reasons for dismissal are not stated in the NYC Act. This means there is a huge gap in the Act which is prone to abuse.
That notwithstanding the dismissal letter of the Executive Secretary cannot come from the Ministry of Youth and Sports. The dismissal letter should come either from the Office of the President or the PSC or the Chair of the National Youth Council. For that matter this dismissal letter is illegal and I urge Lamin Mokendeh Darboe to challenge it in court.
At the same time I challenge the Chair of the National Youth Council Dembo Kekendo Kambi and his Council members to lead the youths to challenge this dismissal in court and occupy the streets of The Gambia to protest the dismissal until it is reversed.
In light of the above the question that the youth must ask is, is this dismissal of Lamin in the best interest of the youth, democracy and good governance. That is, is the President acting in the best interest of the youth and in line with the dictates of democracy and good governance norms. This is absolutely not the case.
That Lamin has been a phenomenal youth leader and an efficient and effective Executive Secretary has been acknowledged by all. He is noted by all partners and youths themselves that he has positioned the Council on sound foundation. He has enabled the youth to have strong voice. Above all he ensured that during the entire APRC Tyranny the NYC remained non-partisan, independent and saved from the claws of Yaya Jammeh.
Therefore the youth of this country must first demand to know from the President whether he authorized this dismissal? The letter says the Minister has agreed with the decision to sack Lamin. Who made the decision? When and where was this decision taken? What are the reasons of the decision?
Secondly the youth must reject the transmission of the so-called decision to terminate by the Minister and signed by the Permanent Secretary. It is not the Ministry who should transmit such decision. Rather the letter carrying the so-called termination should have come from OP or PMO or Youth Council, but not from the Ministry.
I wish to therefore urge the youth of The Gambia to stand against this illegal dismissal. Furthermore the NYC and youths must act with urgency to get the NYC Act amended in order to protect its independence and remove all undemocratic provisions that place the Council squarely in the hands of the Executive! No to manipulation of the youth by politicians.
NYC must be protected from political interference for the purpose of promoting the political objectives of the President and his ruling government.
For The Gambia Our Homeland
By: Madi Jobarteh