TRRC lead counsel Essa Faal, Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou, top activist Madi Jobarteh and Mayor of Kanifing Municipality Talib Ahmed Bensouda will battle it out for The Fatu Network’s Man of the Year 2019.
The Awards Committee of The Fatu Network Heroes Awards said on Wednesday that 43 candidates of individuals and organisations have been shortlisted for the 2019 Awards.
In a statement made available to The Fatu Network, the awards committee said a total of 1503 entries were reviewed on Tuesday, 18 February during a day-long exercise.
“The Committee based its decisions strictly on the awards criteria for each category and the justifications written in support of a person’s nomination. Particular attention was paid to a nominee’s leadership, initiative, direct involvement and concrete results that are strengthening communities and impacting lives,” the committee said.
In the Man of the Year category, Essa Faal, Abubacarr Tambadou, Madi Jobarteh and Talib Ahmed Bensouda are the four men who make the cut.
Essa Faal is the lead counsel at the TRRC and his efforts in ensuring the investigation achieves its massive objective of piecing together an impartial record of the human rights violations and abuses of the 22 years rule of former president Yahya Jammeh is what endeared him to almost every Gambian. He has done a remarkable job in giving Gambians a better understanding of some of the sick things that took place while Jammeh was president.
Abubacarr Tambadou has been the country’s justice minister since 2017. Mr Tambadou is the man behind the country’s transitional justice program – which includes the TRRC. But Mr Tambadou’s one remarkable achievement in 2019 is his ICJ Rohingya case. He canvassed support from the Muslim world and filed a case at the International Court of Justice alleging that Myanmar was committing “an ongoing genocide” against its minority Muslim Rohingya population. And last month, the world’s top court ordered Myanmar to stop genocidal acts against the Rohingya. It was a huge victory for not just the Rohingya but entire Muslim world – as it also proved to be a huge first step in the fight for justice for the Rohingya.
Madi Jobarteh is a human rights activist and a socio-political commentator. Mr Jobarteh stands out when it comes to speaking truth to power. In 2019, no Gambian spoke truth to power more than Madi Jobarteh. While there are some people who do not agree with his views, Mr Jobarteh advocates for a Gambia that is free from corruption and all other ills that could threaten the future of the New Gambia. He is a passionate and fearless defender of the fundamental freedoms and rights of Gambians.
Talib Ahmed Bensouda is the mayor of Kanifing Municipality. The charismatic young mayor is one of the smartest Gambians of his time. He has managed to reposition Kanifing Municipal Council as an institution, and his achievements in the short time he has been mayor is known by many. The Gambia will surely depend on the likes of Mr Bensouda for its future.