#National News

Activista Gambia expresses dissatisfaction on shrinking political space

May 13, 2022, 1:11 PM | Article By: Isatou Ceesay Bah & Jankey Ceesay

Activista-The Gambia, a youth led civil society organisation that works to promote young men and women, has said that it notes with grave concern and disappointment the shrinking political space, freedom of expression, rising threats to civil society and human rights defenders and insecurity across the country.

“This dampens the hope and aspirations of multitudes of citizens who have voted for change and have anxiously been looking forward to a great democratic transformation and good governance of our great nation following the historic defeat of dictatorship on 1st December 2016,” Activista-The Gambia noted.

A statement released by the organisation said: “The new dispensation is characterized by popular participation of citizens, democratic cultures and a reform process to build public institutions in the strives toward peace, tolerance, justice and the rule of law.”

It further stated that: “this led to the emergence of an active citizenry in the political processes, media freedom, a rise of a more vibrant civil society, the emergence of a commission of enquires and more engagement between representatives and the electorates.”

The organisation however, condemned in the strongest possible term the hallmark of a governance system that is relapsing into dictatorship.

“This is manifested in the police brutal beating of Mr Kebba Chatty. The perpetual denial of police permits for citizens to exercise their fundamental freedoms and the verbal assault by President Adama Barrow directed to the civil society in particular in the person of Mr Madi Jobarteh.   We demand that The President be measured in his statements whenever he speaks to the people he swore to protect as he is ‘the Servant-in Chief’ of the people.”

Similarly, Activista-The Gambia expressed its utter shock and dismay at the shameful and revealing mismanagement and plunder of public funds as manifested in the recent Auditor General’s report.

“We also demand that the state be held accountable for this nefarious economic looting of public resources.”

“Furthermore, the lack of implementation of the recommendations of the Janneh Commission report, the slow pace of implementing TRRC recommendations, rising levels of corruption, skyrocketing prices of essential food commodities and fuel prices, increasing land-grabbing and dubious land allocations are critical national issues that negatively affect daily lives of ordinary poor and vulnerable citizens.”

Activista said, these vital national issues are dear to average citizens and therefore require urgent action from the government as the primary duty-bearer to fix in the interest of accountability and transparency to the citizenry.

“We demand that the President and the Government of the Gambia take significant actions to address these grave issues eating up the very fabric of our fragile democracy and the society in general.”

It demanded that, President Barrow be a unifier in a highly polarized nation, a national symbol and a leader who upholds the constitution of the Republic of The Gambia and guarantees the right to protect each and everyone.

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