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Saturday, April 17, 2021

NAM accuses gov’t of targeting perceived ‘UDP civil servants’

By Tabora Bojang

The National Assembly Member for Bundungka Kunda, Bakary Njie has used last week’s adjournment debate to claim that government is targeting public servants perceived to be supporters of the United Democratic Party for sacking.

He said this practice is unjust and must stop.

“We have seen it happen at the Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation, Gambia Radio and Television Services and even at our foreign embassies where people are recalled just because they are perceived to be UDP supporters.  Are we not Gambians? Or is this country free for other political parties except UDP”? Njie himself a UDP lawmaker queried.

The Bundung NAM further advised that government must desist from “reeling the country back into the Jammeh-era style when the civil service was politically charged” with perceived opposition sympathizers being viciously victimised.

“The UDP [sympathisers] are Gambians and they are working for their country and they must not be removed from the civil service or victimised because they are UDP. In fact, it seems to be a crime to be a UDP supporter in this country now. I don’t know why and I want an answer to this, Honourable Speaker,” the UDP lawmaker stated.

 As he was raising these issues in the assembly, there was a mixture of both approval and disapproval noises from the UDP NAMs and those aligned to President Barrow.

Some NAMs interjected referring the Bundung NAM to the Standing Orders and for the Speaker to caution him on his claims. But Speaker Mariam Jack-Denton indicated that members are free to speak on general issues during adjournment debates.

When allowed to continue following the interruption from his opposing colleagues, the UDP NAM submitted: “Madam Speaker, there are certain members in this House who are not fair to me as this is not the first time they tried to disrupt me on debates. Let them desist”.

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