Wednesday, October 4

‘Leaders must respect citizens to avert coups’- Hon Lamin Ceesay

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By Binta Jaiteh

Hon Lamin Ceesay, National Assembly member representing Kiang West constituency, yesterday, as the debate on the report of the Gambian delegation to the Second Ordinary Session of the Pan-African Parliament in May/June held in Midrand South Africa continued at the parliament house in Banjul echoed that leaders should respect their citizens to avert a coup.

He said some issues need to be looked at at the national level, particularly in the recommendation on the issue of peace and security. “Every parliament needs to discuss about it because any politician could be in government and the most democratic way to change government is through elections,” he stated.

Hon Ceesay added that it had become a norm and a culture in this continent that democratically elected governments are constantly and consistently overthrown by the military; this is very scary and leaders must respect and recognize the sovereignty of citizens.

“If you want to gauge the will of the citizens of any country through the ballot and democratic elections from those democratic elections citizens will express their opinions regarding the leader they want to lead them. In any African country we have to reiterate that coups are not solutions to peace and stability, to misgovernance, corruption, and ill governance that we have in Africa,” he said.

He said there is a need for attitudinal change while leaders should practice good governance and stop misuse of public funds, “thus peace in development does not only mean the mere absence of war. In a country where you put your pregnant women on a cart to access health centers where people are drinking in an open well and a country where every traffic light junction you reach there are more than twenty beggars. I don’t think there is peace in a such country. So, to ensure that we have peace all these issues should be put into context to ensure citizens’ lives are uplifted.” 

However, the African continent must be free, and ensure that the Pan-African Parliament should take a position and reiterates this issue not only by putting them on paper.