Our lawmakers’ retreats should reflect the public interest

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Our lawmakers are treading a good path by engaging in a preseason retreat aimed at bolstering their capacity and performance of the exercise of their public or state duties.

We would like to commend the Speaker of the House for this strategic and brave move in rolling out a training package to put those who represent us at the parliament at a better position in discharging their duties in line with the tenets of democracy, transparency and accountability in this country.

We are of the view that training or retreats like this (which took place over the week) would not only teach them the principles of democracy but would also let them know the issues of national development and be bold enough to raise and challenge topical issues at the parliament that will put the government of the day or the Barrow administration on its toes to work in line with the tenets or values of democracy, transparency and accountability in the new found democratic dispensation.

The weaknesses, lapses or misgivings of the government must be boldly questioned, highlighted and seen to be addressed at any given time they rear their heads or are noticed to be happening.

The people of this country have not called for or effected a change of government only for the physical form or structure of it.  The people want a real change in how power is utilised, how the economy is driven and how poverty and unemployment can be brought to a minimal level.

The people want to see how state wealth or resources can be made to benefit them and how infrastructural development can be maximised to place the country at a level that can present the appropriate condition for substantial and lucrative foreign and local investment to take place on the land.

The National Assembly Members are to be seen to be really representing and advocating for the people of this country and not essentially their parties or the government of the day. Serving only the interest of their parties or the government of the day would be a failure of responsibility.

There are lots of development issues or targets our MPs need to put on the table of the Barrow administration for redress – the law reforms, the economy, job creation, better health facilities, quality and affordable education, water and sanitation, roads rehabilitation, better housing facilities among other socio-economic challenges in our nation need to be addressed. These are the factors, if addressed, that make for good governance.

Therefore, let our lawmakers or parliamentary representatives tread down that path to bring about the development we so desire and need in this country.  The retreats of our lawmakers must always tackle such pertinent issues of national development for the good of all and sundry.

“It’s all to do with the training: you can do a lot if you’re properly trained.”
Queen Elizabeth II