By Ousainou J. Sawaneh
Commissioner Yankuba Dibba of the Constitutional Review Commission said the active participation of citizens really matters in the drafting of the new constitution.
He made this statement in an interview with the Daily News during the public consultation tour.
Dibba said the CRC manage to engage the communities effectively adding that in such consultation women and youth are not very much heard. He said the CRC has a device strategy in terms of getting information from the young people and the women “we conduct the Focused Group Discussion (FGDs) these are the ways we engage certain people in trying to bring specifics of their concerns and opinion”.
He added that there is a general appeal for high level participation in the process noting it is unprecedented as for the first time Gambians are consulted in a manner in terms of expressing their views as the way they want to be governed.
The commissioner also said the marginalized people should take part in the process; particularly the youth and women groups as they formed the largest component of the population. Commissioner Dibba said the women constituted more than 50% while the youth 67% of the population.
He reiterated that the CRC is mandated to write a new constitution and to prepared a report in relation to the new constitution for the Gambia and equally they want to call on the person’s with the disabilities to actively take part in the discussions.
Dibba said their core values are participation, inclusiveness, ownership and transparency adding any view expressed no matter how infrequent it is, that doesn’t mean it will not be reported.
“Every opinion is respected and the views will find their way in the new constitution or the report.
“I just want to assured the people that they should not think that whatever they say will not be part of the conclusion”
The commissioner also cited that the past constitution was written and the people were not consulted but they were asked to vote for yes or no, while emphasizing that there is no better chance that Gambians can get a better constitution than this.