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City of Banjul
Thursday, December 9, 2021

Gov’t accused of marginalising people with disabilities

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By Amadou Jadama

The executive director of the National Organisation for Disables and Orphans (NODD) has accused the Barrow administration of marginalising people with disabilities in the country.

Lamin Manneh, who is also a member of the Gambia Federation of the Disable (GFD) blasted the government for “a deliberate snub” of the disability bill following a promise that it will be looked into and tabled before lawmakers.

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“We blame the government and especially President Barrow who is the captain of the boat for ignoring our bill. We hold the president responsible for the failure of the bill. We register our profound disappointment,” Mr Manneh said.

He said the social welfare minister, Fatou Kinteh and her permanent secretary Rohey Bittaye promised them that by December 2020, the bill will be tabled which turned out to be false.

“Three parliamentarians told me that the social welfare minister categorically told them to place the disability bill aside and focus on the women’s entrepreneurship bill,” he claimed.

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Mr Manneh said Minister Kinteh and the government are placing women entrepreneurs above them in order to win women’s votes in the December election.

“They are only interested in securing a second term in office. I am not against the entrepreneurs bill, but it came at a very bad time, at the disables’ expense,” Manneh said.

Mr Manneh said if lawmakers failed to table the billl in June, the GFD will take to the streets.

“I have already mobilised my people who are standing by. We will go out for a peaceful demonstration. And we are not going to seek any permit from anybody.  We want the entire world to know that we are marginalised, segregated and neglected. We have been struggling with this bill for the past 14 years. The bill belongs to the entire country and to generations yet unborn,” Mr Manneh said. 

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