CRC urged to address VDC crisis in Gambia

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Baboucarr Bojang, a retired teacher has called on the Constitutional Review Commission to embed in the new constitution a law that would address crisis that grapples Village Development Committees (VDCs) across the country.

Mr. Bojang, a native of Bwiam village in Foni Kansala District, West Coast Region said: “There are a lot of VDC crisis across the country resulting into physical confrontations that need to be addressed.”

He stated that most VDC members overstay in office and if anyone wants to contest against them during elections, the person is viewed as an enemy.

He made these remarks on Tuesday 20 November 2018 at Bwiam during the Second Phase meeting of civic education public sensitisation campaign organised by National Council for Civic Education (NCCE) in partnership with the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) designed to prepare and set the ground for the public consultations proper across the country. 

According to him, most VDC members think that the position belongs to them and would not even want to hold congresses, adding; “never again in The Gambia should anyone overstay in power.”

Abdoulie Janneh also a native of Bwiam village recommended for taxes to be collected at village levels. He suggested that forty percent of the tax collected be sent to the council while the sixty percent be used for development.  “Hence majority of Area Councils are not giving back the sixty percent to communities as form of development.”

One Bakary Bojang also saidthat the issue of Area councils should be addressed. “Any time you ask them about development projects they will tell you there is no money,” he opined.

He also challenged NCCE to rigorously sensitise citizens on the new constitution upon its finalisation, saying there are even graduates in the country who do not have a clue about the constitution.

One Badara Sanneh also urged the CRC to address the issue of land and natural resources crisis in the new constitution.

He also recommended for the requirement of National Assembly members to be revisited in order to give Madrassa graduates (Arabic scholars) the opportunity to contest as candidates in parliamentary elections. 

Author: Cherno Omar Bobb on tour