By Fatoumatta K Jallow
National Assembly Members of various Political parties on Saturday 21st April 2018, organised a constituency outreach to promote peace and development within West Coast Region. The outreach program was held in Bwiam in the Foni Kansala Constituency and funded by the International Republican Institute (IRI).
The occasion was graced by different political party representatives, Alkalos, Chairpersons, elected Councillors of West Coast Region and civil society groups. Among other things, the forum discussed the promotion of peace and security, political pluralism, political tolerance and the roles and responsibilities of National Assembly Members in parliament and their achievement for the past year.
Musa Amul Nyassi, National Assembly Member for Foni Kansala said as representatives of the people, they are elected from different political parties but their common interest is to promote national development.
“As a region we thought it fitting to come together to promote peace and stability.
The time for politics is over. It is now time for development and to focus on the development plan of West Coast Region,’’ he said.
He thanked the people of the Region for openly speaking out about the difficulties they face and the improvements they expect from their representatives at the National Assembly.
“The people are happy seeing us come together to promote the development agenda of our region, regardless of our political affiliation,’’ he told the gathering.
Nyassi said they will all come together to support the Chairperson who is going to represent the Region, irrespective of the party the person comes from.
“We are leading by example in coming together as one, even though we belong to different political parties. There can be no sustainable development in the absence of peace and security,’’ he said. He urged the people of the Region to promote peace and stability.
Lamin J Sanneh, National Assembly Member for Brikama South constituency, said the gathering is very important because they want to clear the misconceptions people regarding to their role at the National Assembly. “We have to look at the Constitution and do away with this ill-conceived Law which is hindering the peace building aspect of our society.
In terms of our responsibilities at the National Assembly, we look at the interest of the Gambian people and not party interest,’’ he said.
Kaddy Camara, National Assembly Member for Foni Bondali Constituency applauded the initiative as very important.
Saikou Ba Jarju, NAM for Busumbala Constituency said as servants of the people, the outreach is to equip the electorate on the roles of National Assembly Members and to report back to their various constituencies, after being in office for one year.
Robina Namusisi, the Resident Country Director of IRI, said NAM’s representation is key; that this is why it is important to explain to their electorate, what they did with the mandate given to them. And that there is no better time than after serving one year from the time they were elected.
Demba Jallow, GDC Chairman of Foni Bondali in his contribution, said political parties should be united because if they are not united, they will not bring any development to the people.