It is hard to even think of, neither to believe that the over 20 Committees of the National Assembly namely: Parliamentary Service Authority Board, Public Appointments Standing Committee, Standing Committee on Privileges and Ethics, Finance and Public Accounts Committee, Committee on Defense and Security, Foreign Affairs Standing Committees. Public Enterprises Committee, Human Rights and Constitutional, Public Petitions, Select Committee on Health, Women, Children, and Select Committee on Local Governments, Lands and Ombudsman of the National Assembly are virtually all set on halt and their sittings being called off during the whole month of May, simply because almost 40 National Assembly members hunted for an overseas travel in the name of Capacity Building Trainings in China, attending of Meeting that brought little significance to the services expected of them by the electorates, just to filled their pockets with “Per-diem Allowances”. How could the Assembly value overseas travel that the sittings of the Assembly taking into considerations the numerous un-passed bills, audit reports on the State own enterprises, and the much awaited Anti-Corruption Bill, etc.?
Unimaginable as the fall of the sky, according to the NATIONAL ASSEMBLY SERVICE AND REGULATION ACT 2021, The Assembly did allocate themselves the Following Allowances and Advances: Acting Allowances, Duty Allowances, Out of Station Allowance, Outfit Allowances& Warm Clothing Allowances, Residential Allowances, Basic Car Allowances, Fuel Allotments, Telephone Allowances, Hazard Allowances, Overtime Allowances, Clothing Gown Allowances, Special Incentives Allowances, Sitting Allowances for National Assembly Authority members, Sitting Allowances for National Assembly members and Sitting Members for Committee members, Per diem payment, Salary Advance and Personal, Motor vehicle and Housing loans.
Accumulatively, The National Assembly is one of the Institutions with the greater chunks of the budgets on allowances which prompts many to venture into Politics as a short cut to get access to the National Cake and self-enrichment to the detriment of the Gambian populace.
Gambians do elect representatives to the National Assembly entrusting them with their Eyes, Ears and Mouth as an oversight institution to the Executives and Judiciary, as the third arm of Government their roles among many include to legislate laws that will governed the country, ratify bilateral agreements, loans, grants and to held the Executive accountable etc.
Disappointingly our elected National assembly members has brought little significant to the electorates since from the second republic to date. When the representatives are canvassing for votes they promised the electorates that once elected they would bring transformative changes to the livelihood of their Constituents, by providing them with Roads, Schools, Constant Electricity Supply, Efficient Health Services, Build Schools and Boreholes for the Women Gardeners, Improve the Agricultural sectors etc.
History has it on records that the National Assembly members under Tyrant Yaya Jammeh regime were best known for entrenching Tyranny. National Assembly Members of the previous regime made more than 75 amendments to the 1997 Constitution, most notably the entrench clause indemnifying the killers of April 10 Students and the removal of the provision on second round of voting.
The fourth legislative led by the present speaker Fabakary Tombong Jatta, then Majority leader of the APRC has butchered the Constitution declaring the Gambia as an Islam state, with draconian laws on Press Freedom and in 2017 took the country into comma after the 2016 election to declare a state of emergency only to prolong the reins of a Tyrant Dictator. How soon do we Forget?
With all the enthusiasm and expectations in 2017, The Fifth Legislature brought the bar of the National assembly to its lowest ebb instead of focusing on changing the draconian laws, such as the Public Order Act, Electoral Reforms, the provision in the Local Government act, which says all sitting mayors, Chairpersons of the local councils should vacate their positions 3 months before the Local Government elections!! National Assembly hastily lowered the age limit for the vice president, accepting anonym Car Gifts, followed by “Brown Envelopes”, Land allocations and Pay rise.
Undoubtedly, Partisan party politics at the National Assembly during the Fifth legislature couple with greed, ignorance, the then representatives deprived the much needed NEW CONSTITUTION of the New Gambia, that shows their sheer lack of foresight and Interest for the Common good of the Country. The Gambian People will NEVER forgive the Dis-Honorable Assembly Members.
The sixth legislature will be remembered as the most Dis-honorable, Selfish, with zero Integrity, Morally bankrupt, Extortionist National assembly in the history of the Gambia. The Dis-Honorable Members of the National Assembly led by Tyrant Enabler Speaker and his deputy, Fabakary Tombong Jatta and Seedy Njie manifested their lack of love for the country in continuing to polarizing the Assembly and its oversight committees. The Sixth Legislature has and will continue to betray the hopes and aspiration of the Gambia. Gambian should not expect anything PROGRESSIVE from the present National assembly other than RETROGRESSION. The only salvation to Gambia present predicament is a COMPLETE SYSTEM CHANGE. Shame on the National Assembly Members of the Sixth legislature. You are Dis-Honorable representatives, the recent proposed increments of salaries and allowances lacks merits of Financial discipline, it shows that The MP,s are just mere extortionist.