By Mustapha Jallow

Ansumana Yabou, Civic Education Officer at the National Council for Civic Education (NCCE), has again asked people in rural Gambia, to fully consider or empower the rights of physically challenged persons. Yabou made the statements during the second round of their interface with the Gambian population together with consultants from Constitutional Review Commission (CRC).

The remarks were made in various communities in the Lower River and West Coast Regions during their two- week public awareness campaign. The citizens’ outreach programme, was meant to prepare and set the ground ahead of the countrywide public consultation by the CRC.

Considering them, he said this will ensure the lives of people living with disabilities to be empowered to access information, obtain the right kind of education that will allow them to be full participants in society. He stated that most such persons are not considered in society, especially in rural communities due to discrimination and abandonment by their respectively families.

“I feel sympathy with persons living with disability, especially those who cannot see. They should be treated equally because they are part of society. I therefore appeal to all to focus on the disable and to make sure their living conditions are improved and treated respectfully,’’ he urged.

In Kwinella, Chief Alagi Demba Sanyang said they intended to sit with their VDCs and Alkalos, to review the issue documents and what the NCCE/CRC have sensitized them.

“We will gather in Kwinella Bantaba and review issues to enable us equip ourselves before the arrival of the Commissioners. Such sensitization is historical and one of its kind in the country. It is a chance for people in Kiang Central to fully participate in the new Constitution building process,’’ he said.

Speaking on behalf of women, Terehama Dumbuya, a native of Kwinella and women chairperson, urged the CRC to revisit issues on citizenship, FGM and the death penalty. She pointed out that the death penalty should be totally abolished in the Constitution as it would cause more problems in society; that officials should carefully look into certain Laws as most of them should not be allowed in the new Constitution. Dumbuya urged the drafters of the new Constitution to consider better health care services in rural communities.

At Sankandi in Kiang West, Yorro Manjang said he has never been sensitized and enlightened like the way NCCE officials did. He urged his fellows to write down their answers even if it has to be in local languages, to ensure they have better responses from Commissioners.

Ebou Colley, the Chief of Bondali endorsed the sensitization meeting of the NCCE/CRC and called for his people to listen attentively and participate in the programme. Famara Tamba of Foni Bintang advised his community members to hold the issues seriously. He urged the NCCE officials to continue sensitizing the public.

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