The Chronicle Gambia

Sidia Jatta Calls for a United Parliament in Fight against Covid-19

The National Assembly member for Wuli East, Sidia Jatta has called on his colleagues on Friday to leave aside sentiments and complacency to be able to succeed in the fight against the ‘invisible enemy,’ coronavirus.

The parliamentarians are currently debating on the report presented to them by the special select committee of the national assembly on the implementation of the public emergency, which was presented by the chair Alhagie Mbowe.

Jatta raised dissatisfaction as to the way the implementation has been handled so far with regards to protecting people contracting the virus. He prefers the extension of the emergency period in the interest of saving lives.

    Hon. Sidia Jatta

“Am not against extending the emergency period because it’s increasing,” referring to the number of the patients of COVID-19 which now stands at 23 cases.

“Why do we want to become complacent? We most strengthen ourselves; we must reinforce ourselves against an enemy that we cannot see. That’s the strategy we have been developing.”

He took the chance to strongly call on members to focus on the virus and not to be distracted by political differences.

“Sentiments do not have a place here. This national assembly is the heart and soul of the nation. The nation depends fundamentally on this assembly and we can’t afford to use sentiments to fight a war. We must use the required weapons if we want to win this war. We must help our people to grow to empower themselves against this enemy.

“We cannot not do anything to weaken them; if we do, we are failing in our responsibility. We cannot use sentiments to help our people fight against this enemy…We need all the forces that we need today to become stronger against this invisible enemy which is devastating the world. That’s why the world is united against an enemy they cannot see,” Sidia emphasizes.

The member for Jarra East, Sainey Touray has problems with some of the regulations in the mood of enforcement.

“If you say social distancing or physical distancing, Madam Speaker is not observed in certain places. For example, if you go to our markets, there is hardly an element of physical distancing being practiced.

National Assemble of The Gambia
     Assemble of The Gambia during sessions

“Madam Speaker, if you go to our ferry terminals, people are camping into the ferries. I am cognizant of the fact that authorities have reduced the number, yet still, if you look at passengers on board the ferry you tend to wonder as to whether the regulations are in place.”

Ndey Yassin Secka, a nominated member frowns at the way some people distrust the existence of the virus in the country.

“Some people do not really believe that this deadly disease is prevailing and we have to talk about it. People need to be trained and sensitized about this disease…” she said during her intervention in the debate.

She said as national assembly members, they should enlighten the public as to what is happening and work together towards providing solutions.

The motion seeking the further extension of the state of public emergency to 45 days effective Monday, 18th of May is due to be tabled for debate later today by the attorney general and minister of Justice Aboubacarr Tambadou.

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