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Madi Jobarteh: Engage Your NAM Today To Express Your Deep Concern And Interest In Justice and Accountability

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Madi Jobarteh Human Rights Activist.

The minority caucus of the national assembly has called for an extraordinary session requesting a sitting of the Assembly to be convened under section 98 (1) (a) (ii) of the 1997 Constitution, and Order 11 (3) of the Standing Orders of the National Assembly to debate over the current National Public Health Emergency which resulted in the death of at least 70 innocent Gambian children according to government records. As the Assembly sits on Wednesday, October 26, human rights activist Madi Jobarteh has called on citizens to engage their NAMs and demand for nothing but the truth. Below we reproduced Madi’s Full statement:

“It is indeed with great satisfaction to witness National Assembly Members take the rightful and bold decision to convene specially for the death of Gambian children who are victims of what can only be described as negligence and failure of the Government to protect them. On Wednesday, October 26 all victims and Gambians should grace this special session to hear our NAMs deliberate on all aspects of this matter of high importance. Indeed, this decision by the National Assembly is what is expected of a parliament in situations like this.

As the NAMs meet, let us remind them that they are meeting over the death of innocent children who died not because they were sick. No. They died because they took a substance expecting it to cure them, but it turned out to be a poison that harmed and killed them. Therefore, these children did not die from sickness. They died from betrayal, negligence, and failure of someone paid to ensure that they receive the highest quality of care.

For that matter, let’s urge NAMs to put aside all partisan and other sectarian and personal interests and focus on the role and function of institutions and officials based on the existing legal frameworks. NAMs need to interrogate how legal and institutional frameworks meant to protect could fail to uphold the fences thereby allowing the deadly syrup to enter the country. Citizens want nothing but truth, transparency, and accountability.

So, as a citizen, engage your NAM today to express your deep concern and interest in nothing but truth, justice, and accountability. For far too long Executive institutions and public officials willfully bastardise the rights and resources of the people with impunity. This has to stop, and no one can and should stop it other than the National Assembly. We cannot continue to live with lies and excuses from public officials which bombard us anytime they have been found wanting.

For example, how can we accept the narrative that there is no money to buy basic testing equipment at MCA or EFSTH or at the Police or at FSQA or at PURA, yet in these institutions, they are buying and driving multimillion dalasi official vehicles just to go to and from work?

How much does a medicine testing equipment cost? How much does an x-ray machine cost? How much is a DNA testing machine? How much is a food quality testing machine? Each of these machines does not cost more than one million dalasis. Is it not a shame that for every sample of anything, the Gambia has to go all the way to Dakar or Accra or Europe just to do tests there?

Therefore, contact your NAM today to give him or her your urgent concerns and ideas so as to better equip them. Democracy works through advocacy and engagement. NAMs are our NAMs because we elected them. We cannot leave them all by themselves as if they are all-knowing and omnipotent. They need our ideas and support in order to better equip themselves to effectively and diligently perform the duties we tasked them with.


For The Gambia Our Homeland”

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