By: Kebba AF Touray
Lawmakers have called on the Government and the Police to launch an urgent investigation into the killing incident that took place at Sanyang in Kombo South District, West Coast Region.
Sanyang, a village about 43 kilometers away from the country’s capital, Banjul, was on Monday the epicenter of violent scenes as a mob, mainly youths, attacked and burned down the village’s police station and a Chinese fishmeal company following the death of one Gibril Ceesay.
Lawmakers made the clarion call on Wednesday 17th March 2021, while commenting on the statement about the incident issued by the Member for Kiang Central, Bakary Camara.
Delivering an oral statement on the unfortunate incident, Camara urged the police through the Ministry of Interior to launch an urgent investigation into the matter.
Camara also urged that after the completion of the investigation, the outcome should be made public so that people will know the events and factors that led to such aggravated anger and destruction.
He explained that most of the people involved in the incident are youth, which the government should take note of and interest in because they are the cream of the country.
The lawmaker stressed that the government should stop, what he described as, ‘lip service’ to youth empowerment and be committed to creating concrete opportunities for the youth so that they become useful members of society.
“Unlawful killing such as the Sanyang incident is becoming common in the country. Just three months ago, three young people were stabbed to death at Joko Night Club in Brikama, and there was another heinous and mysterious killing of individuals in Niamina East. Up till now, nothing concrete has come out of the killings,” he said.
He said what happened in Sanyang must not continue and that the only way that it can be addressed is to ensure there is justice, adding when the root causes of the incident are adequately addressed, such things would never happen again.
Intervening on the statement, Halifa Sallah, Member for Serrekunda, said life is the most precious thing that an individual possess and that when life is loss, the whole world should be concerned.
He said the Human Rights Committee of the Assembly should take interest in the matter to establish “what actually is happening and what has happened.”
“We should not presume because there is always a presumption of innocence when you deal with issue of crimes. But essentially, we should take interest because it went beyond an individual, to deal with community, resources and lives and property.
“So in that regard, we should try to find out what actually happened? Why it was enlarged to such a level and what we can do to address the root cause of the problem rather than just placated?” he said.
Kebba Jallow, Member for Jarra Central, said from indications, the Police are on course in their investigations into the matter to bring the culprit into book and ensure that justice is served. He however called on the youth not to take the law into their hands.
Sainey Touray, Member for Jarra East, said it is the duty of the government to protect its citizens especially when life is involved. He urged the government not to delay the delivery of justice in the matter, adding justice delayed is justice denied.
Omar Ceesay, Member for Niamina East, reminded the national assembly that, three people were killed in his constituency recently and noting has been done about those killings.
Nonetheless, he joined his colleagues to call for the government to thoroughly investigate the killing incident in Sanyang and come up with a comprehensive report on the issues as to how justice can be served.
Alagie S Darboe, Member for Brikama North, condemned the killing and pleaded for the Police to be fully equipped so that they can be able to put an end to such unlawful acts in the country.
Fatoumatta Jawara, Member for Tallinding, while condemning the incident at Sanyang, called on the youth of the village to remain calm and allow the law enforcement authorities to execute their work effectively and efficiently on this issue.
Fatoumatta Njai, Member for Banjul South, urged the government to invest in youth empowerment initiatives, saying youth ought to be prioritized in national building process and activities.