(Wednesday 21st November 2018 Issue)
a well-attended meeting at Wassu village in the Niani District of the Central
Rive Region (CRR), communities have expressed their opinions, stating that gay
marriage should not be included in the new constitution.
Ensa B. Ceesay, the president of the Niani Disable Association has said that the new constitution should empower the physically challenged people so that they could immensely participate in national development.
“The new constitution should empower the disable in order to enable them participate in decision making process and the development of the country. Disable people are encountering lots of challenges at the hospital, police station and others gatherings.”
Farmers in the district have also suggested that a commission for farmers should be included in the new constitution.
Some say that the deep-rooted cultural traditional practice of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting should be critically looked at as it’s a tradition.
On citizenship, the people of Niani District believe that citizenship by marriage should be reduced from seven years to four or five years and citizenship by naturalisation should be 10 years. They argued that the new constitution should make provision for local languages to be used at the National Assembly.
In a consultation meeting between local dwellers and commissioners of the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) in Wassu, communities of the area also said they wanted the new constitution to make proviso for a commission for farmers.
“The famers should be provided with farming implements and tools by the government. We the farmers have nothing more than our farms. We should be provided with seeds and fertilizers every year before the start of the raining season,” Mbye Manneh, a farmer urged. Farmers, he added, are faced with numerous challenges that should be addressed by those in authority.
“We are talking about Teaching Service Commission and Health Services Commission but we neglect the farmers because we undervalue them. We should have a commission that shall be mandated to look into issues affecting farming (agriculture). We should not be sidelined.”
“The agricultural sector is very weak in The Gambia. The farmers should be empowered. Our region, CRR, has a vast land for farming. If our farmers are empowered by the government, then we will be able to feed the whole Gambia,” said Rohey Ceesay of Kuntaur Wharftown.