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Parliament summons NCD boss

June 16, 2015 By Jariatu S. Bangura

Members of the parliamentary committees on Presidential and Defence, Works, Housing and Infrastructure, last Friday summoned the chairman and senior officials of National Commission for Democracy (NCD) with a view to for the latter to provide an update on their activities.

Chairman of the committee on Presidential and Defense, Hon. Alhaji Seray Dumbuya, said democracy was paramount in any country as the promotion of good governance should be a clear manifestation to all.

Responding, Chairman of NCD, Dr. Abubakarr Kargbo, acknowledge that Parliament was playing one of its core functions, which is oversight over state institutions.

“They [Parliament] have the right to know the activities we have carried out and it was good that the due process was done successfully in Parliament because I think I was able to convince Parliament that the NCD has been doing a good job, but the main challenge has been that we are under-constrained in terms of resources. We want vehicles for our regional offices, we want to capacitate further so that we can ensure we bring good governance at the doorsteps of our people who you know primarily did not have the opportunity to have gone to school to at least understand the mechanics of government,” said Dr. Kargbo.

The NCD boss told lawmakers they had produced versions of the national constitution in some local languages, as well as created video clips for the Constitutional Review Process, reaching out to 50 constituencies to solicit their views on what they would like to see in the new constitution. He said they have been holding conferences, including a recent conference on national unity and government.

Chairman Kargbo said: “Today, governments all over the world have come to mean democracy differently. Observers have said that the use of the term democracy to describe governance is base on a number of parameters (not just free and fair elections) which are accepted in one country and rejected in other countries. For instance the issue of term limits of presidency, should there be one or not, international criminal justice justice for African leaders, what about George Bush and Tony Blair’s Iraq war?, the rule of law and the independence  of the judiciary, should the Executive appoint judges?, freedom of expression  and public interest, why should people be jailed for their views?”

He noted that some countries have repressive governments while others some extent have freer or flexible governments, adding that in the United States, Edward Snowdon, Julian Assange face criminal charges for free speech disguised under the charge of espionage. “The question comes to minds should democracy in the USA, UK and West be the same like in Eastern Europe, Africa or the middle East,” he quizzed.

However, he seems to suggest that democracy is not rooted in Africa and Sierra Leone of lack of a democratic culture. “We can’t get our people to understand democracy just for few days, we need to invest, capacitate in sector of democracy and good governance for people to have a clear understanding of democracy because if they don’t it will not be too good because government should be in the hand of those who know and to do the right thing you must understand the mechanics of government which will help you to do the right thing which will bring progress,” he concluded.

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