By Sarjo Camara- Singateh
Amie Sillah is a prominent politician, an activist, journalist, educator and a trained public health worker contesting for the Bundung Ka Kunda seat in the April 6 National Assembly elections. In an interview with Foroyaa newspaper she calls on her constituents to organise debate between her and other contestants who are vying for the Bundung Ka Kunda constituency seat. She reveals numerous plans to uplift the status of her constituency if she is given the opportunity to represent them at the National Assembly. Amie Sillah promised to be the mouth, eye, ear, nose, hands and legs of her constituency at the National Assembly with her vast experience on various development issues.
Amie Sillah is among one of the most vocal Gambia women who has been proving herself to the maximum, she has never shied away from displaying her potentials. Amie Sillah contested the parliamentary seat in Banjul South in 1992 as one of the few female opposition candidates during the first republic and lost to her male contestant, and during the President’s Jammeh repressive era, she again contested in the then Serekunda East constituency before the recent demarcation and she gained her deposit.
Amie argues that if there were reforms she would have been in the National Assembly. She is now contesting for the Bundung Ka Kunda constituency where she has spent almost 25 years serving that community as an educationist, an Early Childhood Developer in Nyakoi Nursery School and a women’s right activist, which prompted her to form a women’s rights organisation a CSO WODD (Women for Democracy and Development) to support women in the community and other constituencies by giving them seed money for economic empowerment and training them in skills development, mentorship and empowerment by training them to know their rights and responsibilities and also to stand for elective positions.
Amie Sillah said if elected she would advocate for the reforms outlined by the Barrow Administration in his Election Manifesto such as the Second Round of Voting, Term Limit, Proportional representation- the Quota System as in positive discrimination; Institutional reforms such as security of tenure where the Executive can no longer hire and fire Judges, members of the IEC etc. such as the impunity and self- perpetuating rule experienced in the last 22 years rule of the Jammeh Administration also Section 91 Subsection (1) paragraph (d) where by a party executive can expel a member and if it happens that he/she is a NAM he/she would loss his/her seat which is very undemocratic as being abused when it was meant to stop cross-carpeting to mean if expel one can remain an independent member of the Assembly and can only be recalled by your electorate to go for a By-Election is what she would advocate for.
Also on Devolution of power in Local Governance where by the 1997 Constitution is calling for a high degree of autonomy for Local Government Authority in Section 193 but it has been eroded over the years in Sec 20 where the President can hire and fire local government authorities on the recommendation of a Minister or a Resolution of the Council as in gang against any member.
Amie also said: “If elected Nyakoi Nursery School will be revived and its funds siphoned into the Constituency Development fund to cater for micro-finance projects for women’ economic empowerment, youth and members of the disability community.
As I traversed the constituency women are complaining about water shortage which is a human right issue, bad roads and electricity shortages I’ll clamour it into the ears of the executive until something positive is done.
Also the nylon bags something can be done in a win-win situation as an activist I am very much interested in the preservation of the planet recycling of nylon can save the situation and the women’ economic activity not disrupted.
On Adult Literacy in English and the National Languages WODD was pioneering it with WODD Study Circles it would be revived to cover the Constituency. Women lack knowledge about their religion WODD was also pioneering that it would be revived.
Nyakoi has products have attained B.A, M.A and PhD of all sorts. they have pledged to sponsor a Nyakoi Project to revive their Alma Mata to ensure other children also benefit and this time around Nyakoi is going up to High School .