By Mustapha Jallow
Ansumana Yabou, Civic Education Officer at the National Council for Civic Education (NCCE), on Sunday October 28th 2018, asked the community members of Illissa, in Upper Baddibu district and Farafenne, on whether they want the death penalty to be allowed or abolished in the new Constitution.
“It depends on you people and those answers should be given to the Constitutional Review Commissioners who are preparing to face you soon. Prepare to submit your answers to this and other issues you want to be included in the new Constitution, when they come to take your contributions and ideas that you want to see changed in our national laws,’’ he said.
Yabou made these and other remarks during the ongoing two week civic education sensitisation conducted by officials from the Constitution Review Commission (CRC) and the NCCE. Yabou kept reminding the communities that the 1997 Constitution is not owned by former president Jammeh but the Gambian people.
For his part, Kunkung Saidy Bayo, NCCE’s Senior Programme Officer, said a Constitution cannot be made without the contribution of the people it is intended for; that the people should come forth and share ideas; that another team will be facing them soon to seek their contribution on how and what they want to be reviewed in the new Constitution.
A native Illiasa Yaya Jammeh, said they cannot hide their excitement with the CRC, and called on his people to listen and take the opportunity with all seriousness.
In the same settlement, one Kebba Bah said they are encouraged by the CRC-NCCE sensitisation and will be well prepared for the second team; that they are now becoming aware with issues and will strongly advice their fellow community members to participate fully.
Similarly messages were delivered by the CRC-NCCE officials on the same day, when they met the people of Farafenni. Residents of Farafinne Arabo Ansu Khanyi, said the Constitutional Review Commission is an important step forward.
“It gives people the opportunity to express themselves and contribute to the making of the Constitution. They will give their versions and suggestions so that the final end product will be everybody’s idea,’’ he said.
Nogoi Secka, a female contributor said they need to be careful with the review process, especially when it comes to women affairs; that the contributions and ideas we are going to make as a people should be able to protect and take care of even “our great grand-children.’’ She applauded the steps taken by the CRC and NCCE, to sensitise communities in this important national undertaking.
Similar meetings continue in Lower and Upper Saloum, in the Central River Region, on Monday October 29th, in the communities of Kaur Janneh-Kunda, Ballangharr Kerr-Nderri, etc.
Subsequent meetings will continue in Buduck and Chamen and other communities in the Central and Upper River Region North of the Gambia.