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By Omar Bah
The acting executive director of National Youth Council, Lamin Darboe, said he does not know the reason for his dismissal. Darboe was given his matching orders on Wednesday.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports informed him in a letter that it concurred with the decision to terminate his services in accordance with the NYC Act of 2000.
“In this regard, you are hereby requested to hand over the functions of the position of acting executive director, NYC, to Mr Alhaji Jarju, the programme manager, NYC,” the letter signed by PS Sanyang read.
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It is not publicly indicated who took the decision to dismiss him.
Darboe told The Standard yesterday that although he regarded his dismissal as “unfortunate” he has “taken it in good faith”.
“No reasons were advanced to me as to why I was removed but I want to urge the young people of this country to remain calm. I will also want to assure that my heart will always be with them. It was unfortunate that things turn out like this, but I remain faithful to God. I am committed to continue serving my country in any other capacity,” he said.
Darboe has been serving in the capacity since 2014.
Social activist Madi Jobarteh argued that Darboe’s dismissal was unlawful.
He said: “Section 13 of the NYC 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. The president can indeed sack him 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. Therefore, I take it that the president did not sack Lamin rather it is the minister who sacked him unilaterally which is illegal. For that matter this dismissal letter is unlawful and I urge Lamin Darboe to challenge it in court.
“At the same time I challenge the chair of the NYC Dembo 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.”
The executive director of Beakanyang Kafo, Nfamara Jawneh, told The Standard yesterday that the dismissal of Darboe is wake-up call to Gambians.
“I feel very sad about his removal for obvious reasons. He is one young leader who is very much committed to the advancement of the young people in this country. I remember calling him several times during weekends for matters related to youth and he would drive all the way from Mandinaba to Kombo St Mary’s just to make sure that he responds to the needs of the young people and even when Jammeh refused to step down, he issued a statement asking Jammeh to respect the will of the Gambian people,” he said. Jawneh condemned the decision.
The Bakau Youth Development Association also condemned the removal of Mr Darboe and demanded his immediate reinstatement.
BYDA assistant secretary general wrote: “[Minister] Hadrammeh Sidibeh, through your office, we want to make this vehemently clear that, as young people of this country, we won’t recognise any other person to serve in that capacity of executive director of NYC other than Mr Darboe.
“We won’t allow the progress of the young people be derailed by any politically motivated agendas or whatsoever. We won’t allow the interference of the ministry because we know those that can represent us well and efficiently.
Finally, we’ll withdraw all our affairs and engagements with NYC until Lamin Darboe is brought back.”
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