By Madi Jobarteh
It was the Gambia Government that initiated and drafted a bill and passed by the National Assembly to create the Constitutional Review Commission. The CRC was mandated to write a new constitution after consulting the people. They did a wonderful job to produce a very good draft for the country. After two years and spending over D116 million on the exercise, where is the fruit?
Both the Executive and the Legislature are expected to support this project and ensure that public resources produce fruits. They were expected to protect the national interest by making sure there is value for money. They were not expected to waste public wealth for any reason.
Yet that is what the Executive and the Legislature did by failing to support the constitution building process. NAMs were expected to carry forward the final draft constitution to a referendum even if they were to review it first.
But to fail to review altogether and then to go ahead to kill it prematurely is indeed the grossest act of unpatriotism, irresponsibility and official misconduct that is enough for impeachment and recall!
As it stands today, the country invested 2 years and 116 million dalasi on a project only for a few people to throw it away. By wasting away the people’s money, they also damaged the soul and the future of this country beyond imagination.
This unconscionable act of irresponsibility must be considered a high crime against the nation for which there must be accountability. No Gambian, regardless of your status has the right or authority to waste even D1 of public money just like that.
The minimum NAMs could do was to reflect their own opinions on the draft and then let citizens to vote on it in a referendum. But to flatly refuse to consider the document at all and then go ahead to smack it to death, is indeed a clear and direct insult to the people of The Gambia that they represent! It indicates that they do not care about the people and the money, time, effort and energy spent on this document.
Therefore, citizens must demand accountability for those who are responsible for such wastage of public money, time and effort! The people responsible must be condemned for committing economic crimes and damaging national interest. Such persons must not hold public office given their audacity to throw away the resources and destiny of the Republic down the drain!
The president and the 23 NAMs who voted against the final draft constitution must be held accountable. They have betrayed the people’s trust. They have violated Section 112 of the Constitution which requires NAMs to always discharge their functions only in the national interest and guided by nothing other than their conscience and the national interest. It is obvious that conscience is always about the truth, justice, right, good and not the opposite! But they decided to ignore and suppress the conscience.
Wasting D116 million of the people is neither conscience nor national interest. It is an act of treachery and calumny. Those responsible must be made to pay for it!