MUHAMMED S. BAH
Cherno Sulayman Jallow, the Chairperson of the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC), underscores the importance of the media in the review process both as driver to communicate, and as watchdog to assess the conduct of the process. According to Jallow, this is why they are using the media as the first gateway to make public entry.
Chairman Jallow made these remarks at the first Press conference organize by the CRC after four weeks into office on Tuesday July 3rd 2018, at a local hotel in Banjul.
“The CRC will proactively engage media organizations by providing them with information,” he said, adding that this will facilitate accurate timely coverage of the process and add value to the public outreach program.
Jallow said the success of the Commission’s public consultation process will ultimately rest on the credible, ethical, factual and fair reporting of the media.
“You are the anchor and platform on which most of the Commission’s work will rest in communicating to the general public and citizens”. Jallow call on the media to be committed in being part of the Constitutional review process which is expected to last eighteen months and can be extended for an additional six months, if the need arises.
Furthermore Jallow said the Commission is mandated to draft a new Constitution for the Republic of the Gambia and to prepare a report in relation to the draft Constitution which should be submitted to the president; that the CRC is guided by the principles outlined in the CRC Act 2017.
Jallow said the Commission will seek the opinion of all Gambian citizens, both at home and in the diaspora, through consultations; that the Commission is in a process of setting up a permanent secretariat which is expected to speed up as soon as a suitable premise is identified; that the CRC has appointed a secretary to the Commission and will recruit additional staff to support their work.
He said the Commission has conducted nine sittings coupled with the development of key strategic documents which will guide the Constitutional review process.
“To date, the Commission has developed a number of protocols that will guide its work to facilitate the execution of the entire Constitutional Review process,” he remarked.
The Commission he said, is an autonomous body and that no authority with power can influence their work. The press conference was moderated by the Secretary of the CRC, Omar Ousman Jobe whilst Mrs Awa Cise Sabally, the Vice Chairperson of the Commission, gave the vote of thanks. Meanwhile, the Commission uses the Atlantic Hotel as a temporal secretariat.
Journalists were given the chance to ask and seek clarification to their questions.