Welcome Hon Halifa’s apology
The clash between the Speaker of the National Assembly Hon Mariam Jack Denton and one of the most senior members of the National Assembly, Hon Halifa Sallah was just unfortunate. The clash was over the member’s insistence to take the floor after he was asked to wait whiles the Speaker made an intervention.
The Speaker had to make use of the standing order, section 45 by asking the member for Serekunda constituency to leave the chambers. The member could be heard let anybody touch me insisting that he would not leave the chambers.
The Speaker insisted that he be removed from the chambers by ordering a police officer to do so; the police officer walked twice to the member but he did not voluntarily leave. Hon Sallah later apologised and the business of the assembly continued.
I would called this very unfortunate as the senior member of the National Assembly knows better that whiles he tries to make a point of order or any other intervention, the Speaker has the right to intervene as the referee of the House.
If the member refuses and insists, then the rules of the game will come into play. And this is what exactly happened. The senior member could be heard insisting to make an intervention whiles the Finance Minister was making some clarifications after the loan Framework was being rejected by the members of the National Assembly on basis of vote 18 against 12 votes.
In his clarifications the Minister of Finance Hon Amadou Sanneh told members that they do not know what they have done and that they are putting spanners into the whole China/Gambia relations. This Agreement of framework he told members was just a general guideline to a whole lot of relationships with China. He said the Chinese has just given us a grant to tune of 75 million USA dollars and another 55 million dollars for the International Conference Centre. “You will answer questions from your constituency people if Gambia losses these grants and loans,” Finance minister said.
The above remarks are what made the senior member Hon Halifa Sallah furious and was calling the attention of the National Assembly that the minister should not talk like that.
However ‘am disappointed in him as a very senior member of the National Assembly and being his second time in the assembly; that he acts like the way that almost led the assembly into chaos.
On the other hand, I thanked him for apologising when he realised that he was out of order by saying he was not the type who would disrespect someone.