Member for Baddibu Central and chairman of the assembly select committee on the monitoring of state infrastructural projects, has said the young people in the Gambia are going to be the decisive factor and catalyst for change in the forthcoming election.
Speaking in an interview on Qradio’s Civic Engagement hour, Sulayman Saho said if the youths take their civic duty seriously and turn out to vote in large numbers, they would decide the direction of the country.
The Central Baddibu representative pointed out that one of the ways to cut down youth unemployment is for the youths to take advantage of the sea by venturing into fishing. “The government through the SDF has created incentives such as loan facilities to attract youths to engage in fishing so that our own Gambians can derive maximum benefit from the industry.
“I did not see much trouble or mess as such in the fishing agreements signed between the government of the Gambia and the EU, China or Senegal, because in actual fact, when properly implemented and conditions adhered to, the Gambia government stands to get a lot of money from these agreements which allow foreign entities to fish in our waters. I strongly reject any act of massive fishing of juveniles because that is dangerous and can destroy the fishing industry if not stopped,” he said.
According to Hon. Saho, the Gambia’s draft constitution is one of the best and most well-written constitutions in Africa and that he would urge all members to support the draft bill when it comes to the assembly. “I think the Constitutional Review Commission did a fantastic job by collecting the views of the people through public consultations and position papers,” he said.
He said at all times National Assembly members, when ratifying agreements brought by the executive, must look at the national interest first and the benefits it has for the people of The Gambia before they approve any agreement. “And after ratifying any agreement, NAMs have to continue their oversight over those treaties and agreements to see how they have benefitted the Gambian people through the National Assembly select committees,” he noted.
He said that is all the more reason he agrees with the qualification set for a National Assembly member aspirant in the new draft constitution which states that an assembly member must be reasonably educated to understand issues and topics which are generally discussed in English.
“I equally support the clause in the draft constitution which provides for the recalling of members by their electorate if members are no longer serving their interest in parliament because the National Assembly is not a place for people to get wealthy but a place to serve the people,” he concluded.