By: Kebba AF Touray
The National Assembly Member for Basse, Muhammed Magassy, said Thursday 16th September 2020, that the clause on citizenship in the draft constitution should be revisited by Parliament, else it will hunt the country in the long run.
He complained: “I have reacted during the consultation, but my reactions are been filtered in this constitution. I want to believe that if you want to protect your languages, the protection begins in the constitution. The language policy in any nation is relayed in the constitution, but this draft constitution did not come with a language policy when compared to other nations”.
He said in countries such as Senegal, the National languages are given recognition in their constitutions, which help the Education Ministries in those countries to come up with a better education policy.
Hon. Magassy said: “Still we don’t have such recognition of languages in the constitution and that means there is no language policy in this country and that has been my advocacy both at the parliamentary level and during the consultative stages of this draft constitution”.
He decried: “I hoped that it will be captured but unfortunately due to one reason or the other it is not captured in the draft constitution. Therefore based on my humble opinion, a constitution without a language policy, will give us a difficult starting, because all that you are trying to promote cannot go without language and that language shouldn’t be left behind”.
He added: “It is the interest of the Gambians that I am, trying to defend and if it is not in the constitution that shows the constitution is not my constitution and the group of people who are with me”.
He dismissed the idea of local languages, noting that there are no local languages in the Gambia, but national languages.
He said two term limit for the position of President is a good move, but he was quick to asked when this would come into force.
“Any activity in the draft constitution should come into effect when the draft constitution becomes the constitution of the land that is when a new era is created in the Gambia”, said the Basse Parliamentarian.