By Mustapha Jallow
The National Council for Civil Education (NCCE), as part of their civic advocacy outreach education, on Thursday, 24th July 2014, held a day long sensitization program for local government authorities and members of village development committees at the Lamin Health Centre in the West Coast Region.
In his welcoming remarks, Alh, Demba Sanyang, the Paramount Chief, said the role of local authorities can be dated since the colonial period and that they have been very instrumental in the communities. He elaborated on the various responsibilities of village ‘alkalis,’ district chiefs and VDC members and cited duplications and conflicts that sometimes occur in the discharge of their functions.
Paramount chief Sanyang said peace, stability and good governance is maintained in a nation, thanks to the dedication and steadfastness of local government authorities in cooperation with members of the village development committees.
He noted local government authorities have long enjoyed royalties and other benefits in their work but all of these are not valued in recent years. He added that the local government authorities should enjoy royalties from resources and public businesses in their localities.
Mr.Yusupa Bojang, the Program Officer of NCCE, said the sensitization is part of their efforts in enlightening local authorities and village development committees on their various functions and responsibilities as enshrined in the Local Government Act of 2002.
Mr. Bojang said they have carried out a nationwide sensitization program in all the regions of the country in orher to reach out to all local government authorities on their functions as there is misunderstanding and conflict in their duties. “The purpose of the exercise is to enhance the understanding of the local government authorities, especially the ‘Seyfolu and the Alkalolu,’ on the Local Government Act of 2002 with specific focus on their respective functions,” said the NCCE Program Officer.
He said this will help in the smooth dispensation of their functions as traditional rulers, adding that the exercise would also help to clarify the misunderstanding that exists in some communities with regards to the position of the ‘Alkalolu’ and that of the village development administration, thus promoting peace and stability in communities and the nation at large.