By Omar Bah
The National Assembly Member for Baddibu Central yesterday clashed with the Speaker over his calls for the president to be summoned to appear at the Assembly on Monday to respond to members’ questions on his State of the Nation Address.
Shortly after President Adama Barrow delivered his long address, the Baddibu Central NAM, Sulayman Saho reacted: “I want to move a motion for your respected office to use its discretion to summon the president to attend the National Assembly deliberations on the State of the Nation Address next Monday. As we move towards building our new found democracy, it would give us the opportunity to directly engage the president on issues of national interest.”
But responding to the Central Baddibu NAM’s submission, the Speaker, Fabakary Tombong Jatta overruled the submission saying it didn’t follow due process. “You raise points of order based on parliamentary procedural matters but this is not a point of order but submission,” Speaker Jatta charged. Commotion then erupted as the lawmaker insisted that his point of order followed parliamentary procedure and that the Speaker should hear him out. The NAM insisted but the Speaker would not listen and asked him to sit down. However, the NAM insisted that the Speaker should have asked him to kindly sit down because he is an honourable member and deserves to be accorded respect by the Speaker. “This is an Honourable House, you cannot ask me to sit down. You should tell me to kindly sit down,” Honourable Saho chastised.
The Speaker then asked him to “please sit down” before adjourning the sitting to next Monday for the deputies to debate on the President’s State of the Nation Address.