Scores of Gambians, mainly youths, took to the streets in the outskirts of Banjul holding placards and chanting “enough is enough reject the bills”, as they staged a protest against two controversial bills. 

The protesters on Monday laid down demands to authorities amid call for rejection of the judicial officers remuneration bill and the legislative salaries and pension bill.

The judicial officers’ remuneration bill seeks to make provisions for the enhancement of salaries and allowances, and pension entitlement of the judicial officers while the National Assembly salaries and pension bill seeks to increase salaries, allowances, and pension benefits for lawmakers.

Lamin Manneh, one of senior executives of Concerned Citizens, the group that organised the protest, read out the demands within the parliament chambers under heavy security.

He said: “First, withdraw the national assembly members’ salaries and pension bill. We unequivocally demand that this bill be withdrawn from the assembly since its aim at serving the interest and enriching members of the parliament over other civil servants and the general public as a whole.

“We demand that the national assembly withdraw the judicial officers bill 2024 which disproportionately allocates the national resources to a selected group while neglecting the needs of the broader population. The third demand is fair compensation to all public servants.”

“We call for a fair balance-approached compensation for all public servants; ensuring that salaries and benefits are aligned with the country’s economic reality and do not create significant disparity.

“We urge the government to prioritise the allocation of national resources in critical sectors such as education, healthcare and security, infrastructure and agriculture to improve the living standards of all Gambians,” he added.

Reporting by Adama Makasuba

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