By Omar Bah
The leader of the Gambia Action Party, Musa Yali Batchilly has said his party rejects any form of state of emergency that doesn’t provide monetary insensitive to vulnerable Gambians.
“We believe the government must be in the business of making effective changes in the lives of Gambians in these trying times and must not be seen to be at the center of people’s suffering,” Batchilly told The Standard.
Batchilly said all political parties should put politics aside and prioritize the plight of the people.
“The 45 days of state of emergency is unjustifiable and must be critically looked at. The plight of the vulnerable must be considered. We cannot just impose laws without considering the consequences of those laws,” he added.
He said lawmakers must ensure that Gambians don’t find themselves in a situation where they will be battling for survival.
“It should be our collective consciousness and responsibility to safeguard and manage our meager resources. The 45 days state of public emergency approved by lawmakers is unprecedented in these difficult times especially without solutions being proffered,” he argued.
He continued: “We don’t expect the poor women who struggle to earn a living to be indoors for a month and half without basic necessities. The vulnerable traders who toil and live hand to mouth can’t quit trading just in exchange of an emergency. We cannot watch our people die in hunger.”
“We urge the government to speed up the level of preparedness to curb the spread of the virus throughout the country. The budget approved for this purpose must be clearly marked as a matter of urgency, as well as the pledges made by the international community for the best interest of our people,” he said.
Batchilly said the business community in the Gambia must be compensated for their losses.
“Also, we urge the government to engage all the compound owners to lift the rental payments for at least this month and credit next month. In doing so, this will reduce the burden on all the people in rental houses so as to safely stay at home. Towards making the Gambia free from COVID-19, we urge everyone to adhere to the preventive measures, as well as social distancing” he added.