28.2 C
City of Banjul
Monday, July 22, 2024
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Will the protest make any difference?

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The talk in town recently has been about the judicial officers’ remuneration bill which, it is said, aims to increase the salaries and allowances of judicial officers in the Gambia. Additionally, there has been another bill which also aims to improve the take-home of the National Assembly Members.

Many young people in the country see these bills as means to increase the welfare of judicial and legislative officers to the detriment of the ordinary citizens. They quote the low wages of the majority of workers in the country and the biting economic conditions in the country to say that this is not the time for judicial officers and legislative officers to increase their earnings.

This led to a protest for which the Gambia Police Force (GPF) granted a permit on Friday for it to take place on Monday as was proposed by the protesters. The late granting of the permit and the incessant rain recently made many people apprehensive that the turnout would be poor as people will not have had enough information to come out to protest.

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However, it seems those fears were unnecessary as hundreds of young people went out to protest despite the late information and in spite of the heavy rain. In fact, a few of the National Assembly members went out to meet with the protesters. There were so many notable personalities among the crowds. They sent out a clear message to the authorities that they were not in agreement with those bills and urged the National Assembly to reject them. 

Now that the protest has come and gone and the youth of the country have in no uncertain terms made it known that they do not agree with those bills, the question one may ask is this, ‘Will the protest make any difference?’ If it does make a difference then one can be pleased that the democracy of the country has come of age.

If however the National Assembly goes on to pass those bills and the President of the Republic assents to them, then the citizens of the country must recommit themselves to the struggle for a more vibrant democracy.

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