“Since the advent of the second republic, the National Assembly has not left any stone unturned to ensure that the principles of the July 22nd Revolution are not defeated in the spirit of the 1997 Constitution which calls for accountability, transparency and probity. Therefore, nobody is above public scrutiny, including the institution of the National Assembly itself.”
Mr Dodou Kebbeh made these statements at the third three-day outreach forum for National Assembly members at Janjangbureh this week on the theme “National Assembly Members’ representative, legislative and oversight functions under social audit.” The forum was also attended by regional governors, seyfolu, NGOs and others.
Mr Kebbeh continued: “The National Assembly authority has for the past years resolved to subject itself to social audit. By social audit, we must come to the people who elect us and provide them with a platform to tell us how they are seeing our work, our performances and weaknesses and what the way forward is.”
In his speech, the speaker of National Assembly, Abdoulie Bojang, said the assembly, besides being the supreme lawmaking body, exercises oversight over all public services, institutions, agencies and policy programmes of the executive.
He added: “We have a statutory responsibility to regularly interface with the grassroots in such a proactive forum other than the period of electioneering and party politicking. In all vibrant and responsive democracies like ours, there is great need, wisdom and merit for such strategic outreaches to our constituencies. It is an opportunity for greater scrutiny over the core functions of the National Assembly. This forum would serve as a window to create greater public awareness on the work, practices and processes of the parliament, enhance on the way forward for greater democracy and an avenue for stakeholders consultations.”
Speaker Bojang cautioned deputies against making promises to their electorate during election campaigns. “The politics of today is different from the politics of yesterday. We must go with the modern type and not do sweet-talk in order to get positions when we cannot do what we say or promise to our electorate.”
The newly appointed governor of Central River Region, Omar Khan, described the forum as important as it availed deputies an opportunity to discuss with the electorate their successes and challenges.
He said: “I congratulate you for having the foresight to meet your electorate. I was made to understand [what we have] is the best in West Africa due to the quality leadership of the speaker.”
By Sainey Marenah]]>