Why I Think The Draft Constitution Has An Islamic State In Mind

By Pa Louis Sambou (first published 24-Nov-19) In light of the heated debate which has been prompted by the omission of the word “secular” from the draft Constitution by the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC), I feel obliged to share my thoughts on the subject matter. In this regard, I will very briefly address three salient fundamental questions: 1.       What does it mean to be a “secular republic”? 2.       Should the absence of the word “secular” be a cause for concern? 3.       What’s the way forward? What does it mean to be a “secular republic”? Secularism in literal sense means “…the principle of the separation of government institutions and persons  mandated to represent the state  from religious institution and religious dignitaries…” Effectively, it is the separation of State and religion.  Contrary to what’s being spread in certain quarters, Secularism does not threaten or undermine the practice of one’s religion at all. As a matter of fac

Why National Assembly Mustn’t Abandon Ship & Govt Must Pass Emergency Legislation [COVID-19 Act]

By Pa Louis Sambou In the trying times ahead of us, having seen what happened in China and is currently happening in Europe, it is without a doubt that when (or if) COVID-19 reaches our shores by the same measure and in the manner anticipated, a fundamental change of the sort never experienced in peacetime will be forced upon us by circumstances. Such will impact every age group, community and work of life. Therefore, it is best to prepare for the storm to come now than work against its tide on arrival. There could be no worse a time to be complacent than now. The decommissioning of the single most important legislative and institution of Executive scrutiny [the National Assembly] is a grave error in judgment. To coin an analogy, this feels like a naval navigator at sea retiring themselves having had their traditional equipment damaged by the turbulence before the storm. This makes an emerging crisis even worse, compromising every critical countermeasure there is avai

How The Gap in the Law (Public Order Act) Is Undermining Its Essence

I suppose I am not a loner in my bewilderment at how a piece of legislation (the Public Order Act) whose objective is to regulate among other things the issuance of permits viz-a-viz the exercise of the right to free assembly time and time again contribute to rather than inhibit public disorder. In light of the aforementioned it can be said that the law or aspects of it are unworkable or that there is a fundamental misconception of it on the part of those entrusted with its enforcement.  Law exist for the benefit of society rather than society existing for the benefit of the law and hence why where a piece of legislative authority becomes a cost rather than a benefit to society, appropriate steps must be taken to close the gap between such inadequacy in law, its essence and the needs of the society whose welfare it is meant to safeguard.  The reasons for the unfortunate outcomes of 10 th  and 11 th  April 2000 (Students demonstrations), 14 th  April 2016 (Solo Sandeng and co d