Constitutional Law And The Type Of Constitutions Of The Gambia


Commentary By Halifa Sallah, Part 6

Knowledgeable people do not invent reality to show their wisdom. They study reality to know the nature and characteristic of each given thing or phenomenon and explain their findings. Those findings are utilized to build instruments, institutions and normative practices.

Hence when the Constitutional Review Commission began its consultative exercise Gambian scholars who are not demagogues should have examined the Constitutional Landscape of the Gambia to map out the road the country had taken towards Constitution building, determine where we are, where we want to go and how to get there. This is the task.

Constitutions are concrete texts not phantoms conjured in the brains of idle dreamers who employ all philosophical arguments devoid of any reference to any concrete text. I will come to this when I treat the issue of secularism as a philosophy or belief and secular Constitutions as a tool of state governance. This is when the scholastic bankruptcy of the Demagogue will become evident. It will show how some people take the scholastic thinking of others and rely on it to interpret our own realities in Constitution building thus making us mere imitators instead of being innovators and architects of our own destiny
A review of the provisions I have quoted from the 1965, 1970 and 1997 Constitutions would reveal that none of them is a Theocratic Constitution deriving its origin from any sacred book. This fact is incontrovertible. Even the Demagogue cannot fail to agree. I therefore put the question to the Demagogue: What name in Constitutional jurisprudence has been given to the type of Constitution Gambia had since Independence? Since he is not literate in such matters or may not now be honest enough to admit how wrong he had been in his scholastic analysis of Constitution types he will never be able to give an answer. I will give the answer when the truth has become too evident to deny.

Since the 1965, 1970 and 1997 Constitutions are mundane and temporal and not sacred and eternal do they automatically remove the religious conviction of citizens from the content of mundane Constitutions? The answer to this question is in the negative.

The religious convictions of the sovereign people cannot be disregarded since the sovereignty of republic resides in each citizen. Hence, the mundane Constitution provides for both human and group rights to protect the sovereignty of each citizen and so as to maintain social order and harmony in the community of sovereign citizens.

How is this done?

To be continued

Read part 7