By Ragan M. Conteh
Members of Parliament on Tuesday 28th April 2020, in the Well Parliament, unmasked President Julius Maada Bio’s security forces deployed in different communities across the country. They are reported of brutality, intimidation and violence meted against members of the public and their constituents in different areas of the country.
Making his submission in the Well of Parliament, Hon. Saa Francis Bhendu, the Deputy Leader of the Coalition for Change in Parliament, informed that Parliament has earlier agreed for the Attorney General and Minister of Justice to submit regulations within 14 days after approval of the State of Emergency.
According to Hon. Saa Francis Bhendu, since the approval of the State of Emergency in Parliament nothing has been done or heard about the regulations, informing that the security forces continue chasing people and beating them up, thereby violating their rights, using the State of Emergency. This happens in different communities across the country.
Hon. Bhendu said even though there is a State of Emergency, there is limit to uses of the emergency in the country, adding that the rights and freedom of the people must also be respected.
He also expressed consternation over the Government to only submit Kambia curfew in Parliament, disclosing that Parliament is more than the executive and it must not be controlled by the Executive arm.
He concluded that the regulations should be brought to the Well of Parliament for MPs to look into existing Regulations and other measures for Parliamentary scrutiny.
The Deputy Leader of the opposition in Parliament, the All People’s Congress (APC) Party, Hon. Ibrahim Ban Kargbo, who reechoed what Hon. Saa Francis Bhendu said, informed that there is all need for the Government to put the military personnel deployed across the country under control.
He said a lot has been talked about, including the excessive use of force by the security forces, who take advantage of the State of Emergency, adding that it is better for leaders of different political parties to meet in Parliament and work closely for a better outcome and recommendation from the Bo declaration.
The Leader of the Opposition APC in Parliament, Hon. Chernoh Maju Bah, in his submission, informed colleague Members of Parliament that, as Opposition they have a lot on their table regarding the State of Emergency.
According to APC Bah, there is all need to discuss in Parliament and work collaboratively with the ruling MPs to find amicable solutions on certain abnormalities during the State of Emergency implementation.
Having listened to submissions of all colleague MPs, the newly elected Leader of Government Business, Hon. Matthew Sahr Nyuma, expressed thanks and appreciation to MPs for the generous statement that all is geared towards curtailing coronavius in the country, adding that the spirit of the Bo declaration is now effectively working in Parliament. He however said he will agree to hold a meeting with heads of political parties to discuss all their concerns before they are brought to the House for debate.
He said the Bo declaration is all geared towards enhancing better coordination among MPs for development of the nation.
The Speaker of Parliament, Dr. Chernoh Abass Bundu, said he was impressed with the manner in which the new Leader of Government Business conducted himself in the first session since he was appointed.
He applauded Members of the opposition for their collaborative efforts and appealed for the continued work for the betterment of the nations.
By Ragan M. Conteh