Saturday, August 24, 2019

Who Was Responsible For Educating The Gambian People On The Draft 1997 Constitution?

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QUESTION OF THE DAY

From July 1994 to August 1996 Decree No. 4 banned all political party activities and the dissemination of political ideas. Only Sidia Jatta and Halifa Sallah were ever charged under Decree No.4 for defying the text of the Decree. They defended themselves in court by justifying their actions rather than denying them.

It was the duty of every citizen and civil society to educate the masses on the text. In the same vein it is the duty of every citizen and civil society to participate in the current constitutional review exercise. Where are memoranda addressed to the CRC by people knowledgeable in the law and shared with the public? Are we going to wait again until a new constitution comes into being and we attribute its shortcomings to people who are neither in government nor members of the commission to be responsible for those shortcomings?

Responsible citizenship starts with performing one’s duty to the best of one’s ability. Those who fail in their duty have no moral authority to criticise anyone else. Such people should just accept what they have not participated when they have every right to do so. That is the verdict of truth and common sense and it is incontrovertible.

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