By MUHAMMED S.BAH
Young associations in the Gambia have expressed their total dissatisfaction with the members of the national assembly on their recent resolution to declare 90 days state of public emergency thus extending the mandate of the former president and the National Assembly.
This was disclosed at a press briefing on Monday, 23 January, 2017 in a statement read by young activist, Khaddijatou Jallow. Expressing her concern, she described the act of the parliamentarians as unpatriotic.
“This action is not only a betrayal of the trust and confidence Gambians have in the National Assembly but also manifested in your perennial failure to represent the voice, will and interest of the Gambian electorates,” she said.
She pointed out that this action of the Assembly has led Gambia and Gambians into serious and unprecedented fear and anxiety causing serious socio economic breakdown including panic and exodus of people placing citizens under risks, closure of shops and businesses causing lost and further aggravating the political impasse.
She added: “The gravity of threats caused by the National Assembly’s enactment of the SoE on lives and reputation of the Assembly is inexcusable. The action was a misrepresentation of the common interest and values of truthfulness and service to people,”
This had resulted to the loss of confidence and hope in the Assembly to deal with state matters in future.
Sequel to these circumstances, young people of the Gambia are demanding the National Assembly to publicly apologise to Gambians for their role in aggravating the political impasse, reverse the state of emergency resolution and the extension of the term of the National Assembly and further repeal all unfavorable laws enacted, restricting rights of citizens and resignation of the National Assembly members for failing in their responsibilities to protect their rights and represent their interest.
“We seek for immediate implementation of this demands as stipulated above and failure to act will lead to further actions by Gambian young people,” they demanded.
Speaking earlier, Lamin Darboe, the NYC boss said the Gambia National Youth Council (NYC), the body representing young people is glad to associate themselves with such a movement of young people raising their concerns describing it as one of the virtues of an open society.
“ When people have concerns especially regarding decisions of the duty bearers, they have the opportunity to speak out and make their demands on top to the duty bearers so that their rights can be protected, voices heard and ensure that the democratization process that we all envisage can be entrenched,” he said.
Commenting further, the NYC leader said NYC stressed the need for the concerns of young people to be addressed noting that they are not today but the future and they are definitely the people who should shape the country.
“The democratization process cannot be completed in the absence of the young people. Encourage all the young people to take the front seat in our development process and equally take responsibility for the development of this country,” he concludes.