As the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) is on the verge of starting the drafting of the country’s Fundamental Law, Justice Sulayman Jallow reiterated Wednesday the importance of the institutional and constitutional reforms, making it very clear that it is not a simple formality.
“The Constitution is about something that is real, something that needs to be given life,” Justice Jallow told reporters during a press conference held at the CRC headquarter in Kotu.
Over these past months, the constitutional review panel has embarked on massive consultations with Gambians at home and abroad in order to get their input on matters related to the Constitution and which would affect them. The commission is mandated to deliver its work within a period of 18 months.
The CRC Chair urged Gambian to put their personal interests aside, warning that this could derail the entire process.
“This process is not about me. It is about us and the future generations,” he added.
He revealed that Gambians during the public consultations have okayed the need to have strong institutions.
Justice Jallow went on to say that even the country’s lawmakers have recognized that we are dealing with a Constitution that is designed to make things better for Gambia.
However, he was quick to warn that the people who are part of decision making bodies should perform their duty in order to get things done.
Two-decade long of dictatorship have plagued the tiny West African nation with gross human rights abuses by the former regime. The new authorities have vowed to right the wrongs of the past by initiating reforms geared towards putting the country on the right path.
CRC To Get Into High Gear
In her closing remarks, CRC Vice-Chairperson Hawa Sisay Sabally reechoed the concerns raised by many Gambians about the ability of the CRC to meet the deadline for submission of the first draft.
“Everybody is impatient now. Everybody wants the Constitution to be ready. We are not going to be pardoned if we extend our time,” she said. “We are not going to ask for an extension.”
Consequently, she disclosed that they are now working every day in the week including Sundays in order to make it in time.
Written by Abdoulie John
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