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City of Banjul
Thursday, September 24, 2020

On PDOIS agenda 2016 publication launch

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Industrialisation

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We cannot just grow what we eat and eat what we grow and attain a self-reliant and sustainable economy. We must process what we grow, rear, fish, mine and so on. PDOIS aims to register all the appropriate technology in the country aimed at determining our processing potential and challenges for the primary phase of industrialisation. It will facilitate joint public /private; public / cooperative and other continental linkages to facilitate the secondary phase aimed at light scale industries and the tertiary phase of industrialisation   aimed at large-scale industries and machine building.

 

Infrastructural development 

The north bank and the south bank would have first class roads linked by a bridge across the river, somewhere in URR.

River transport would be enhanced by the construction of wharfs in all major towns along the river to ensure that all heavy loads are transported by river transport to reduce the rate of dilapidation of major highways and give new life to the economic activity of many towns.

The bridge being contemplated across the Gambia River will be extended to a ports project to serve southern Senegal, eastern Gambia, Mali and beyond. This would facilitate road and rail links in the sub-region.

 

Political transformation

PDOIS conceive the citizenry as the embodiment of the sovereignty of the Republic and collectively the architects of our destiny. 

It aims to eradicate all vestiges of monarchical or self-perpetuating rule and ensure that authority to lead at village, district, regional and National levels are determined by the will of the people.

 

Constitutional and legal reform

 A commission of Gambian jurists would be constituted to conduct a review of the Constitution and laws and propose reform of all provisions which are unreasonable and unjustifiable in a democratic society after consultation with the wider public.

 

Institutional reform:

Institutional reform of the executive, legislature, judiciary, the public service, the Office of the Ombudsman and the Independent Electoral Commission would be undertaken. 

 

Executive 

PDOIS would combat monarchical and self-perpetuating rule by advocating for a one-term mandate after the transfer of power from the current administration followed by a constitutional amendment, to introduce a two four-year term limit, as is the case in Nigeria and USA.

Introduce gender parity for the filling of two-thirds of cabinet posts.

 

National Assembly

Ensure security of tenure of parliamentarians by subjecting them to removal only through the exercise of the right to recall by the electorate.

Introduce proportional representation for two-thirds of the seats in parliament, so that one-third of the membership will always be balanced by gender.

Eliminate the post of nominated members and its replacement by introducing a policy of proportional representation.

Judiciary

Establish Special Judicial Service Commission to appoint judges and magistrates on the basis of merit and subject them to removal only for misconduct and infirmity confirmed by judicial inquiry. 

Establish a jury system for district tribunals with presidents appointed by the Judicial Service Commission.

Establish Special Public Service Commission to appoint members of the IEC with party leaders having the right to raise objections and be heard by the commission which would sit publicly to preside over the hearing of the objections. 

 

Local government 

Effect decentralisation and devolution of power aimed at replacing governors with regional permanent secretaries to handle central government matters in the regions.

Establish elected councils to administer villages, districts and regions.

 

Civil transformation

PDOIS aims to build a society centred on the protection of the liberty, dignity and self-worth of the citizen by upholding fundamental rights and freedoms and ensuring that all state institutions, agencies and natural persons are committed to such an endeavour. In this regard, 

Establish a National Human Rights Commission to monitor and ensure protection against violations of Human Rights;

Ensure that all conventions on fundamental rights and freedoms that are ratified by parliament shall automatically be domesticated by promulgating   the relevant provision in the constitution

Eradicate of all laws and policy directives which hinder freedom of expression, and the dissemination of divergent views and dissenting opinions by the state and non-state media.

Enact a Freedom of information Act to remove secrecy from public administration and make the administrators accountable to the public they serve and responsive to enquiries of the media which are supposed to keep the people informed. 

A National Council of Media Practitioners will be established as a self-regulatory body for media practitioners which will have no judicial powers but will exercise persuasive influence aimed at promoting professionalism and integrity in the performance of duty and resolving disputes to decongest the courts.

We are committed to the enactment of laws, establishment of institutions and law enforcement practices which would enlarge and protect rights and freedoms. 

National Police Service Commission would exercise direction and control over the police force and appoint all senior officers of the force on the basis of merit. 

The Inspector General of Police shall be appointed with the approval of the head of state, but once in office, cannot be removed without judicial inquiry into allegations of misconduct o infirmity and subject to approval by the National Assembly.

Undertake reform of the criminal code to decriminalise all provisions that are not reasonable or justifiable in a republic or democratic society, humanise law enforcement agencies and practices and rationalise penalties to be equivalent to crime committed.  

Undertake reform of prisons and prison administration. Introduce community service as alternative to imprisonment as measures to eradicate retributive justice.

Since no sovereign citizen would choose to occupy a government post of a killer of killers, the death penalty would be abolished and life imprisonment maintained as the severest punishment for a crime.

A National Prison Service Commission will exercise direction and control over prison administration and appoint senior prison officers. A Director General of Prisons shall be appointed with the approval of the head of state, but could only be removed by a judicial inquiry into allegations of infirmity of misconduct. 

Imams of major mosques and priests of major churches, union leaders and leaders of registered civic groups or associations would be honorary human rights commissioners and social auditors who could visit jails, prisons and other places of detention to check conditions and make representation for compliance with the laws or propose improvement or reforms in the administration of public institutions such as prisons.

Courts shall be required to take judicial notice of any detention beyond the 72 hours established by the constitution, for a person to be held without bail or court appearance and count it as duress. Human rights defenders will receive maximum media coverage and protection to ensure that all violations are reported, exposed and violators named and shamed

A sovereign person has a right to change a government, but has no right to kill and incite hatred to change a government.  Hence crime of treason and sedition are not permissible in a sovereign republic. Those who kill or destroy property could be charged for their conduct.

 

Social transformation

PDOIS aims to build a community of sovereign citizens whose sense of belonging to a community of Gambian nationals would be put above other affinities; an informed citizenry who will have the right and audacity to ask of the community what is required to have education, skills, good health, employment, housing, proper sanitation, protection at old age or in case of disability and adequate recreation in order to live in liberty, dignity and prosperity and who will recognise their duty to give to the community what it requires to provide the needs of all and ensure that each enjoys  individual and social justice.

It will involve, in governance, the people organised into civil associations to serve as social auditors who will scrutinise, criticise and restrain the tendency for misrepresentation, bad governance, mismanagement and impunity, on one hand, and on the other hand, serve as the ears, eyes and   mouths of the people who will speak truth to authority in defence of legitimate individual and public interest.

The Agenda has addressed the challenges of self-determined education, the provision of appropriate health facilities, housing and other social amenities such as recreational facilities  

It calls for special measures to be put in place to address past discrimination and injustices perpetrated on the basis of gender, disability, age, social origin and prevent their resuscitation. 

 

Cultural transformation

PDOIS is to promote and preserve all cultural heritages that enhance human dignity, self-worth, liberty and prosperity and thus fuse all the identities and values originating from diverse cultural backgrounds into the identity and values of the sovereign community of sovereign Gambian citizens under the republic.

It will combat all vestiges of prejudices emanating from ethno-linguistic origins, monarchical and caste systems, religious allegiances, gender orientation and all other practices which undermine the integrity of the sovereign person in particular, and diverse groups in general, and manage diversity  in such a way that unity is enhanced by promoting republican and democratic values  and  their  institutionalisation  to promote the equality of all Gambians in citizenship, and all other communities resident in the Gambia in rights to ensure mutual respect, tolerance and appreciation of diversity. 

It plans to establish a house of culture in each village, district, region and urban centre for artistic and other cultural expressions, in order to promote appreciation of each others’ origins and ensure respect for the upholding of republican and democratic values and ways of life of sovereign people.

 

Ecological transformation

It advocates for the management of air, land and sea in such a way that liberty and prosperity will be enhanced without putting into jeopardy the liberty, dignity and prosperity of future generations through improper management. 

 It will combat environmental threats caused by poor urban and regional, district and village planning, thus leading to floods and demolition of buildings, engendering poverty and hardship.

Integrate environmental impact assessment before any action is taken that could affect the environment at village, district, regional and national levels.

 

Regional integration, African unity and international cooperation

PDOIS aims to give concrete expression to the aspiration to transform the world into a universal home for human kind, where each nation, big or small, will cooperate, and sub-regions and continents could establish communities of states, and even federations, that will co-exist with similar entities, in the spirit of good neighbourliness, equality and mutual interest, and provide to each sovereign person the enjoyment of civil, political, economic, social, cultural and ecological rights. 

Enter into a cooperation agreement with our neighbour Senegal, to establish a joint commission of jurists to review constitutional and legal instruments regarding governance with a view to harmonising, standardising and adopting them to promote regional integration and African unity on a democratic foundation that will serve as a pillar to uphold the fundamental rights of our peoples.  

This template of a Republican Constitution will be presented to African countries and international community to promote the creation of a monarchy free Century, and thus earn Africa honour and respect for promoting such an epoch making agenda. Take concrete measures to harmonise economic, civil, political, social, cultural and ecological policies and plans with Senegal to serve as a blueprint for regional integration. 

 

By Halifa Sallah

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