An online petition calling for the recognition of former justice minister, Fatima Mama Singhateh's role as a human rights defender has amassed over 2,700 signatures, days after it was launched by Oxford-trained Gambian lawyer Melville Roberts.
Set up shortly after Mama's appearance before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC), the change.org petition garnered huge interest among Gambians both at home and abroad.
Melville disclosed the petition was created to counter a petition by the Civil Society to stop the former minister from representing The Gambia to the United Nations because she served under ex-President Jammeh.
He argued: "It didn't make sense to me that the same Civil Society organization that was targeting Mama was seen a few weeks ago enjoying over barbecue and drinks on a cruise boat with Cherno Marenah and Co who also served under Jammeh and who served for a longer period as Solicitor General than Mama did. Cherno secured a job under Barrow's regime and no petition was done calling for his firing"
Melville added: "I intend to send a letter accompanied by this petition to the Secretary General of the United Nations to say that us Gambians recognize the role Mama Fatima Singhateh played in legislating if not all but most of the progressive laws we have today in our statute books that deals squarely with the rights of women and children in The Gambia".
The UK-based lawyer said Mama is an honest, sincere, upright, diligent and very intelligent woman who has served her country, The Gambia with the utmost distinction.