A two- day capacity building programme is under way at the Paradise Suites hotel under the auspices of the Goodluck Jonathon Foundation, an international NGO founded by the former Nigerian leader.
The GJF founded by the former President of Nigeria (2010-2015) is an independent non-governmental organization established in 2015 for the advancement of peace and prosperity on the African continent dedicated to promoting peace and reconciliation, advancing democratic governance, advocating for inclusive governance and economic development, promoting citizen’s rights, and continental and national integration.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the former Nigeria leader told Gambian national assembly members that parliament should exercise its independence to the extent that it does not compromise its duty to the people or loyalty to the state. ”This should be the foundation of politics. It is also at the heart of governance. Leadership is not about who gets what, how and when, but about impact and derivable benefits to the society. Democracy works better and delivers the most goods when the parliament promotes interparty collaboration around good policies and initiatives. I believe that as parliamentarians you took an oath to promote The Gambia’s “honour and glory to advance peace and prosperity and welfare of this country. By that oath you have sworn to project the voice of the people and serve the country and not to serve a political party only. While you represent a political party and will not compromise the interest of your party, at the same time, you must be loyal to the state,” he told his audience.
The Speaker of the National Assembly Fabakary Tombong Jatta informed the gathering that this capacity building exercise with the Jonathan Foundation and the ECOWAS Parliament, comes at a time when Committees have already been instituted and have commenced their respective oversight work. ”I am confident that the outcome of this engagement will further develop knowledge and skills on the mandate of the legislature in promoting governance and maintaining peace and security. Additionally, it provides a unique opportunity to Hon. Members to blend training with the daily complex reality of parliamentary work.
Over the next two (2) days, the facilitation team will help us develop the skills necessary to execute our functions and mandate as representatives of the people. I urge members to take keen interest in the presentations that will be delivered and to seek clarification when necessary to ensure that they understand the issues, challenges, and opportunities,” he said.
The Vice President Badara Joof opened the training on behalf of President Barrow. All elected and nominated members are attending the training.