Speaking at the gathering, Alhaji Mustapha Joof, alkalo of Kerr Jatta in Lower Niumi expressed delight at receiving the experts from the National Council for Civic Education to educate his community about citizenship and Local Government Act of 2002 to avoid abuse of power by different authorities.
Mr Joof further enunciated: “This sensitisation will go a long way in the development of the community in knowing their rights and responsibilities under the Act. I have been involved in constant dialogue with the area council to discuss pertinent issues .We thank the NCCE for stepping in to enlighten us about these issues.
Junkung Saidy, senior civic education officer said: “This sensitisation is an annual event that helps to sensitise communities on the Local Government Act of 2002 by meeting the village development committee (VDC), councilors and alkalolu. This sensitisation is for the communities to have a proper structure of their VDCs and know their functions since they are the only structures which are established by law according the Local Government Act. In doing so, they will be able to form the structure properly and know how they will go about with their development plans. We target the electorate, councilors and communities in open meetings to dialogue and so far their responses have been positive,” Saidy revealed.
He said some communities find it difficult to differentiate the role of the VDC and alkalolu but since they started their sensitisation many people were able to understand better that the alkalolu are part of the VDCs.
Saidy further clarified that the VDCs cannot work in the absence of the alkalolu and vice versa, advising that if they want to accomplish their development plans they should cooperate.
Kebba Jobe, civic education officer, said: “This sensitisation helps the communities to be familiar with the Local Government Act which will enable them to request what belongs to them. The Local Government Finance and Audit Act states that before any budget is drafted and confirmed it must go to the ward councillor and then to the minister and back to the ward to know what has been put into it. Their input is included, then taken to different people and before being finalised, it must go back to the ward councilors.”]]>