#Editorial

SoPE extended to another 7 days!

Jul 16, 2020, 11:45 AM

A press release from the presidency on Wednesday has extended the State of Public Emergency to another 7 days.

According to the release, the presidency in exercise of the powers conferred on him by Section 34(6) of the 1997 Constitution has further declared a State of Public Emergency in the whole country. The declaration shall last for a period of seven days, pursuant to section 34(2) with effect from today, 15th July 2020.

The move was in the light of the increasing number of COIVD-19 cases and in consideration that three (3) COVID related deaths have been recorded in the country. 

And the public is advised to take all precautionary measures to protect themselves and others in a bid to curtail the spread of COVID-19, while experts continue to monitor and assess the situation, the release further stated. It came in less than 24 hours when the attorney general and minister of Justice was at the National Assembly in an attempt to rally last minute support for the authorisation from deputies for the current eight-day State of Emergency to be extended by 45 days. Deputies at the Assembly rejected further extension of SoPE.

While, debates heat up among Gambians, who still wants to know whether or not the executive is acting in line with the spirit of the constitution it has taken oath to respect, uphold and enforce, others, believes it is only the National Assembly that has the powers as per by the constitution of The Gambia to extend a State of Emergency.

Notwithstanding, the government of The Gambia should understand and consider the plights of poor households as majority of Gambians are from poor households. And further extension of the SoPE is already having a devastating impact on these families, who struggled during the day to make ends meet. The Muslims feast of Eid-ul Adha is fast approaching what do these poor families make of this latest extension?

Even in countries, who are believed to be the epicenter of the virus, have since relaxed restrictions a great deal. And this just to make sure lives return to normalcy, in spite of the fear of second wave of COVID-19 infections. The government could have applied similar strategy to ameliorate the living conditions of Gambians.

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