By Nelson Manneh
There have been more calls for citizenship by birth at the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) meeting held yesterday, 15th January 2018 at Latrikunda Sabaji in the Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC).
Madam Sallah proposed that there should be citizenship by birth, that there are some people who are born in the Gambia and both their parents are from other countries and those parents of theirs are no more alive. “If they are not considered as citizen which nationality will they belong to?” she questioned the commissioners.
She added that the seven (7) years and fifteen (15) years are too long to become a citizen by marriage and naturalization respectively.
She also called on the Commissioners to include a section in the Constitution that will enable Gambians in the Diaspora to have a representative in the National Assembly of the Gambia.
She argued that Gambians in the Diaspora contribute a lot to the development of this country and therefore they should have a say in the country not only by participating in elections but also in the decision-making process.
Ndumbeh Sallah said many people migrate to foreign lands in search of greener pastures, adding that most of them have the intention of coming back home after fulfilling their dreams. Therefore, she said, they should have a representative in the Assembly who will look after their affairs.
“These people are sometimes maltreated in other countries. This is because they do not have someone who will look after their affairs. There are some countries where Gambia does not have Ambassadors; but if there is a representative for them in the House, that person will be considering their affairs,” she said.
Alieu Jarjue of Abuko also spoke in support of citizenship by birth. He argued that the dual citizenship should be accepted, “If we accept our fellow Gambians to have dual citizenship then we should accept other people to have the same dual citizenship in our country too (the Gambia).”
He however said the death penalty should not be abolished, noting that the death penalty reduces criminal rates. He pointed out that anybody who kills, should be killed.
“Land, Agriculture, Health and Education needs special attention and therefore deserve to have a special commission each to look at their affairs,” he noted.
Omar Amadou Jallow the former Minister of Agriculture in his contributions said the presidential elections and National Assembly Members Elections should be conducted on the same day in order to reduce expenditure.
He added that Gambians in the diasporans should vote as they are citizens. “Other countries are doing it, why not The Gambia,” he argued.
OJ Jallow said asset deceleration is very important, that the president, ministers and top civil servants should declare their assets before taking office. “Their assets should be announced to the general public, not to special people,” he said.