Amidst unstable economic growth in The Gambia, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Dawda Jallow, presented the so-called ‘Former Presidents Bill’ to the National Assembly.
The controversial bill has been the subject of discussion, especially in public forums. In the bill, the former presidents would have some gratuities, lifetime pensions, and other important benefits. I had stumbled across the article specifically about the bill. But some of the provisions in the ‘Former Presidents Bill’ are maddening and disgusting to the core. Sporadically, I would wonder whether we have a National Assembly. All these accommodations for who? Is it necessary for all these benefits for one person while the majority of the citizens are struggling to make a living? Well, we need to rethink and bring bills to the National Assembly that will address corruption, abject poverty, and so on. We have farmers in the rural villages who are struggling to buy fertilizer for their crops. We have women in rural communities who are struggling to buy the necessary equipment for their gardening.
Why can’t the money be spent on these people so the level of abject poverty can be reduced? This so-called Former Presidents Bill is an attempt to extort money from the poor citizens of this country. We need to be serious with nation-building. We cannot be bringing bills to the National Assembly aimed at enriching one person at the detriment of citizens. That’s unacceptable and undone! I hope the government through its legal advisers will advise the president that the so-called former presidents’ bill is an attempt to insult the citizens of this country. What about accommodation for teachers? What about accommodation for our security officers? What about the accommodation to equipping hospitals? What about equipping schools so that quality of education is brought back? We have a nation to build. We need to stop selective enrichment in this country. It won’t take us anywhere. Pass bills at the National Assembly that will address the current challenges in The Gambia. Why bring the bill to enrich someone who was the highest-paid civil servant in The Gambia? Is this not funny?