By Kebba Ansu Manneh
Ebrima Sorie Bah, Secretary General of Gambia for 5 Years Civil Right Movement has called on the Government to pass the long-awaited Anti-Corruption Bill to parliament as a mechanism to address the rampant corruption which is undermining the development in the country.
SG Gambia for 5 Years made the remark in an exclusive interview with The Voice where he defended the Coalition of Progressives Gambians for postponing their much-publicised failed November 11 protest.
“The Anti-Corruption Bill needs to be passed in Parliament and I think Government should take the lead in making sure that the bill is introduced and passed through the parliament. The Parliamentarians must also make sure that they support the bill and I have no doubt that the opposition will give their full support to the bill,” Ebrima Sorie Bah, SG Gambia for 5 Years disclosed.
He said the bill should be the first step the government should use to fight corruption in the country and do any means necessary to look at the audit report and try to commit itself when dealing with national issues.
He also called on the government to be neutral and avoid bipartisan approaches when dealing with civil servants or public servants saying, no partisan stance should be manifested by the government when dealing with the issues of corruption in the civil service.
“The commitment has to be there to make sure that there is zero tolerance when it comes to fighting corruption. The government has to go beyond setting up commissions and also make sure that such commission findings are implemented to the latter. The government has to investigate and prosecute those found wanting in corrupt practices and brought them to book which will serve as a precaution for those manning public offices,” Ebrima Sorie Bah argued.
Dilating on the recent postponement of the much-publicized nationwide protest Coalition, he commended the movement for breaking a truce with the government to postpone the protest through dialogue.
According to him, the Coalition of Progressives Gambians have made salient demands to the government and the onus now lies on the government to respond to the demands submitted to them and challenged the government to be proactive in the concern of the citizens.
“I think the Coalition of Progressives Gambians have succeeded by bringing the government to the negotiation table and it is left to the government to respond to the demands submitted to them. Our only difference with the Coalition of Progressives Gambians was partaking in a protest without a permit because to us that will tantamount to the infringement of the rights of others,” SG Gambia for 5 Years disclosed.
He explained: “I think with regard to the demands, Coalition of Progressives Gambians have made genuine demands that are affecting the lives and livelihoods of all Gambians. We are calling on the government to respond to their demands, take national issues with seriousness and pass the Anti-Corruption Bill in parliament.”