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Sidia Jatta Hits At Sports Minister

Sep 16, 2009, 6:34 AM | Article By: Alieu Jabang & Sainey MK Marenah

Hon. Sidia Jatta, the National Assembly member for Wuli West, has branded as an insult to the dignity of the National Assembly, the comments made by Mr. Sheriff Gomez, the Minister for Youth and Sports, who was responding to a parliamentary question about the salary of the country's senior national team Coach, Belgian Paul Put.

Youth and Sports Minister Gomez last Thursday told deputies at the National Assembly that the issue of the Coach's salary should not be a subject of discussion at the Assembly. As he put it, it is personal to the Coach.

This, however, did not go down well with parliamentarians, and in his contribution to the motion on the adjournment debate on Monday, Hon. Jatta described the comment as "an insult to the integrity of the National Assembly", stressing that the principles "must either be holy booked or holy sacrificed, but cannot be compromised".

"Madam Speaker, the manner in which the Minister of Youth and Sport responded to the question concerning the salary of Coach Put is an insult to the dignity of the National Assembly. The principles must either be holy booked or holy sacrificed but cannot be compromised. What happens here the other day with the Minister of Youth and Sport is compromise of principles," Hon. Jatta told the National Assembly members.

According to the Wuli West National Assembly member, "one would only cry if he/she knows who Coach Put is, his capabilities and how much he is paid".

He then urged the Speaker of the House to tell the Minister to bring the information to the Assembly with urgency and without compromise.

He stated that "the Assembly is the mind of this republic and as such it rests on the members' shoulders a big responsibility in ensuring that whatever is done is in the supreme interest of the people". This responsibility, he added, should not and cannot be compromised.

"We have to make sure that whatever happens here is done in the supreme interest of our people. And we must come against anything that is not to the interest of our people", he said, noting that "this is why they are representatives of people and whatever they say is more important than anything said in this republic".

He said that's why nobody can come to the Assembly and dictate them, as according to him, they are the mouthpieces of the people.

"No one can come here and dictate to us because we are the mouthpieces of the people; we are the minds of the people and that is why we have sworn that we will always stand and uphold the constitution of this republic. We must always bear that in mind because that is why we are called parliamentarians," he concluded.