Monday, November 23

NAM counters Barrow on road funding comments

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By Omar Bah

The NAM for Niamina East, Omar Ceesay, has slammed President Adama Barrow over his comments that lawmakers who refused to vote for the funding of his road projects do not want his progress and that of the country.

Barrow, who was busy laying foundations in Lower Saloum and Basse over the weekend, accused some National Assembly members of deliberately attempting to frustrate his development agenda by voting against the funding of some road projects.

“But lawmakers who love The Gambia and its progress and my progress supported the funding and I am saying thank you to all of them,” Barrow had said.

Responding, NAM Ceesay said: “The president is misrepresenting the decision taken by the National Assembly regarding the funding of the rural roads project. The budget estimate of the said rural roads project was tabled before parliament during the course of an extraordinary session in a form of Supplementary Appropriation Bill for consideration by members. It is mandatory as per the procedure of the parliament to examine and scrutinise any document before lawmakers and scrutinising does not necessarily mean outright rejection of any proposal.”

Ceesay said contrary to the president’s claims “no member voted against the funding of the rural roads project as per the records. With due respect, the reason behind such a statement is best known to the president. But really, NAMs see themselves as partners in development. The executive cannot make any progress without the involvement of the parliament. Therefore, irrespective of our political affiliation, parliament should not deny any proposal that would bring about development to our own electorate, especially where it is absolutely appreciated,” Ceesay said.

He added: “What Barrow should but will never talk about is the rejection of the draft constitution bill by parliament that he has masterminded. It is clear to the public that he masterminded the rejection of the draft constitution.”

The draft constitution was thrown out by NAMs in September after they couldn’t come to an agreement over its content.

The president in an exclusive interview with EyeAfrica TV however said he would have voted for the draft if he were at the House.

“The president’s tactic of pitting members of parliament against the people will not work. Parliament is here to put a stop to his excesses and failure to deliver,” he warned.

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