By Saikou Suwareh Jabai
Amid Youth and Sports Ministry’s decision to dissolve the National Youth Council Board of Governors on Tuesday, youth leaders have criticized the move and urgently called on the authorities to reverse the decision with immediate effect.
The decision to dissolve the Board, according to the Ministry, is in tandem with the National Youth Council Act 2000.
Young people described the Ministry’s decision ‘unlawful’ and demand for answers.
Here is a vox-pop this reporter conducted with young people in the country.
Bakary Badjie, youth activist, said:
“With the exception of the Chairperson and Female Rep, the rest of official Council members are elected by young people in each region and thus reserve the power to remove them or by a Presidential pronouncement for dissolution, which must be based on very good reasons such as proven failure to execute its mandate.”
Babucarr Kebbeh, Chairman of Kanifing Municipality Youth Committee:
“According to this letter attached, no reason was spelt as to why the dissolution came and the Board has not acted in any way as specified in the Act.
I believe this whole thing came due to the social media posts made by youth demanding explanations of some key concerns on the misplaced priorities of the ministry and suggestion on how it should be done.
The Regions are well informed and we will act accordingly and with swift response, as your actions are not constitutional and are against the NYC Act 2000 in my opinion.
This is unacceptable in this New Gambia and be rest assured we will pursue this to the latter.”
Sheikh Omar Sillah, Acting Executive Director and Secretary General of The Legacy Gambia:
“Youths must stage a National Conference on the decision of the MoYS. Their decision to dissolve the NYC Board is unlawful and must be revisited as a matter of urgency. We need a Youth Ministry that reflects the needs and aspirations of young people, not so-called technicians!”
Taslima Jallow, Country Representative of AJAB Gambia:
“We have the #YouthPower. We the youths are the reason why he is Minister and anything that is against us, is not for us. I challenge every young person to join the crusade and demand government to respect our will. These board members are elected by their constituents/ regions to represent young people at council level. They are our mouthpiece and he is there to defend our interest.
But now is the time for the youths to react. So long as the name remains “National Youth Council”, “the youths must have an important stake in the governance of the structure.
We can revoke this decision by following the right procedures.”
“Dissolving the National Youth Council Board without any genuine reason is unacceptable and we will not condone such acts.”