By Lamin Cham
A terse letter announcing the dissolution of the National Youth Council, NYC, was leaked on many online papers.
The letter purportedly from the Ministry of Youth and Sports did not give details or reasons for the action but according to the NYC Act, the minister is the custodian of the Act and can exercise such powers when necessary.
Last night a senior sports administrator confirmed to The Standard that the letter indeed exists.
Like the sports council, the NYC comprises members elected by young people and representing all regions headed by a chairman who is appointed by the Minister.
Both organs were created back in 2000 to ensure effective participation of youths in sports and national development. An executive director and a support staff carry out the day-to-day business at each council.
The NYC’s dissolution were greeted with alarm in many quarters. Some criticised the decision saying it smacks of executive directives of the Jammeh era and therefore contradictory to the democratic trends of the new Gambia. ”This will not take us anywhere,” one seasoned youth volunteer said.
Dembo Kambi, the sitting chairman of the Council said he has not yet received the letter but was duly informed by the executive director that such a letter has arrived at the Council.
The NYC is the supreme body of youths of the Gambia whose role in newfound Gambia has received widespread attention and this dissolution will undoubtedly spark debate.