By Nelson Manneh
A woman at a Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) meeting held yesterday at the Brikama garage in Serrekunda told Commissioners that the Constitution should protect people from statelessness.
Isatou Jobe said there are some people who were born in The Gambia but that their parents are from foreign land while their children got their education here and are working in this country.
She wondered how such category of people will be classified.
She added that the Constitution should protect people from statelessness, if not many will become stateless and that this can lead to commotions.
She said that the appointment of Alkalos and Chiefs should be left to function by customs and tradition and not by appointment by the state or elections.
Another speaker, Mam Babou Jobe told Commissioners that term limit should be the first chapter in the new constitution and that nobody should abuse power.
On the issue of death penalty, he said that justice delayed is justice denied, that anybody who kills an individual and found guilty by the law should be killed.
“If someone killed your relative and the law says that person should be sentenced to life imprisonment, when another government comes to power and pardons that individual, what will be the reaction of the relatives of the one that is killed?” he questioned.
For his part, Alhaji Sillah told Commissioners that there should be a clause in the new constitution that will empower and protect Whistle blowers. He opined that whistle blowers expose corruption and other wrong doings in the government and state owned enterprises.
“If they are protected by the Constitution, then people will have the courage to expose any wrongdoing in the government,” Alagie Sillah said.
Sillah added that Health, Education and Agriculture are keys areas that really need special commissions to look at.
He called for Gambians in the Diaspora and prisoners to be given the right to vote by the new Constitution. “Gambians in the diaspora and prisoners are citizens of this country, it is their right to participate in elections especially presidential elections,” he said.
Sillah added that the president should have the right to appoint Regional Governors as they represent him in those areas, but that the IEC chairman and other commissioners of the IEC should not be appointed by the president; instead they should be appointed by the NAMs or an independent body.