By Nelson Manneh
As the Law makers yesterday 13 December, 2018 debated the 2018 Supplementary Estimates at the National Assembly of The Gambia, some youths assembled at the main gate of the Assembly to show their disaffection of the Supplementary Bill.
While the lawmakers were battling with the Minister of Finance who tabled the Bill before the Lawmakers some of these youths with their banners outside said the Supplementary Estimates is unconstitutional and should not be approved by the lawmakers.
A good number of the protesters are students from the University of the Gambia and other higher institutions.
Some of them who spoke to this reporter said the 2018 Budget did not have any impact on the lives of the people and asked why should there be any Supplementary Estimates.
Omar Camara a student from the University of the Gambia said they have gathered peacefully to show the lawmakers that they should not approve the Supplementary Estimates as it has no use for the nation.
“The NAMs are our mouthpiece; we expect them to be able to distinguish for us what is good and what is bad. The law says that the Supplementary Budget should be tabled before the NAMs four months before the end of the year and should not exceed 2% of the Budget,” he said.
He added that looking at the amount tabled before the Lawmakers it is more than the 2% and should not be accepted because it came late.
The UTG Students added that the IGP should not have deployed any PIU officer as they were there for a peaceful demonstration and not to cause any violence.
“The 2018 budget has no impact on our schools, hospitals, agriculture or any other sector. Nothing is moving, the new Gambia is just mere words, why the Supplementary Bill?” he asked.
Galla Ceesay another youth from Banjul who was seen very active in the gathering said they didn’t come to distract the NAMs but just to let them know that they are not in line with the Supplementary Estimates and must be thrown out of the Assembly.
He said the coffers of the country should not be mismanaged and therefore it is everybody’s business to know where your “sweat is going to.”
“We are not here for politics; our interest is what brings us here. In the previous years, people were complaining of the government mismanaging our fund why is that continuing?” He questioned?
After a while the protesters received information that the Estimates were rejected by the National Assembly Members and some of them could be seen smiling saying that the NAMs have done what is expected of them.