“The councillors have more weight than us now because they are the ones our people see implementing projects,” said minority leader and member for Dankunku constituency, Samba Jallow.
“We should treat the issue of mobility as a matter of urgency. We are here for only five years and we’re into our third year.”
Contributing, the member for Serekunda East and majority leader, Fabakary Tombong Jatta described the issue of mobility for NAMs as a contentious issue over the years.
“For effective oversight, mobility is a cornerstone. Let’s come together and speak one language,” he added.
Mr Jatta expressed his hope that NAMs will be allocated funds to overcome such challenges once the country started exploiting its oil resources.
“In Kenya, each parliamentarian is allocated funds outside the main budget, so that they can decide together with their communities what programmes to implement. Here in The Gambia, we have a budget that’s not enough,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Jatta also expressed his regrets over the expulsion last year of two parliamentarians, Borry Colley and Yahya Dibba of Foni Jarrol and Kiang West, respectively.
“We regret their dismissal. But whatever is destined must happen. However, it should not be a barrier to them. We hope that they will learn and move on,” he said.
Longstanding NAM, Borry Colley of Foni Kansala and newcomer Yahya Dibba of Kiang West lost their parliamentary seats following their dismissal last year from the ruling APRC party.
The circumstances of their expulsion remain unclear, even though, in the case of Dibba, the party’s press statement that confirmed his dismissal had accused that he was found “in serious breach of the APRC code of conduct”.
“They went against the rules of the party. Some of these things are not to be said out… We need to protect the family,” the national mobiliser for the ruling APRC, Yankuba Colley had cryptically told The Standard in March.
Meanwhile, a bye-election has since been conducted and both seats occupied but neither of the two contested.
By Saikou Jammeh]]>