Kebba A.F. Touray
Two nominated members of the National Assembly promised to execute their functions effectively in accordance with the laws of the nation. The two are the Speaker Madam Mariam Denton and Hon. Ndey Yassin Secka Sallah who spoke to our reporter in interviews in their respective residences.
Mariam Jack Denton, the speaker promised to execute her function to the letter as enshrined in the 1997 constitution of the republic of The Gambia. Speaker Denton registered her full preparedness to perform her sacred duties in the national assembly impartially, accordingly and as expected of her and will strive to discharge her functions to maintain the dignity of her office. She vowed that she will endeavour to uphold the provisions of the constitution of The Gambia and the standing orders of the legislature in the execution of her duties and responsibilities as the speaker of the parliament.
Madam Denton pointed out that the national assembly under her jurisdiction will be quite different from the previous one.
Speaker Denton finally urged the honourable members of the legislature to be conversant with the laws of the Gambia and to be respectful while they are in the national assembly.
Hon. Secka Sallah, who is visually impaired, stressed that she will advocate for laws that will promote the rights of persons living with disability and to empower the women folk in the National Assembly. She added that as it stands “there is nothing for the disabled people in terms of infrastructure, economically, socially, politically” and added she is ready to advocate for the disabled in order to relegate this into history books. She promised to do her enormous best to see that persons living with disability are recognised as citizens of the country who will also enjoy the national cake that other Gambians are enjoying.
She said that due to the low level of awareness and understanding persons with disabilities are often sidelined. She said she will introduce motions in the NA and will do all it takes to pass bills, especially the UN convention on persons with disability, which she said is only ratified, to be domesticated, adding that ratification is not enough, but ensuring that the rights of persons with disabilities are enshrined, protected and enforced.
Lamenting on her educational background, Madam Secka cited that she started at the Tanka Tanka (former Kampama) School for the blind, where she proceeded to the St Joseph’s high school and got a scholarship to the Dock College for high education in UK. Hon Secka asserted that she has been attending programmes such as African Union congress and the Rehabilitation International (R.I). She also revealed that she is a board member of Action Aid The Gambia and TANGO among other civil society organisations.
While calling on her colleagues in the National Assembly to support her in domesticating bills for the betterment of persons with disabilities, she urged them to put aside their political differences, and put all hands on deck for the betterment, progress and development of our country.
Foroyaa will also be speaking to the other nominated members and the Majority and minority leaders.