By Madi Jobarteh

I hope the National Assembly will summon the relevant authorities to a public hearing to question them why this internet shutdown happened across the country for so many hours?

The internet is a national security issue. On it depends our defense, security, economy, education, health, services, businesses and life in every sense of the word! Hence anything affecting the internet is a national security matter!

The National Assembly should call the relevant public officials to ask them why this happened and who or what was responsible and how to avoid it again, not to mention what was the extent of threats to our national defense and security and cost to the economy. For that matter military and security chiefs should also be called to determine how such a situation impacts on our defense and security!

It is high time Gambians, more so State institutions stop taking things for granted and assume that things just happen by some divine making or beyond our control. Internet shutdown is not a natural occurrence but a human-made occurrence hence it must be investigated. But even where things happen by nature, it is now obvious that human activity indeed triggers natural occurrences such as climate change. Above all, serious governments put in place mechanisms to address the impact of these natural occurrences.

In other words, in the management of the State there is no space for fatalism, predestination, assumptions and negligence! Anything that happens has a reason and a purpose and therefore deserve to be confronted!

By conducting a public hearing, the National Assembly would have demonstrated incredible leadership to address this occurrences. This is called being proactive and effective. It is such action by NAMs that puts the Executive on its toes and to actively recognize the power of the parliament. It also serves to make citizens have greater trust and confidence in the National Assembly.

The National Assembly can be described, in a simplified way as the mother and father of The Gambia. This means the presence of good or bad governance in the Gambia rests on the National Assembly. The prosperity or the poverty of The Gambia lies squarely in the hands of the National Assembly. What position the National Assembly takes determines the kind of Executive the country will have.

Hence nothing is beyond the scope or interest or attention or responsibility of the National Assembly as long as it happens within the territory of The Gambia or to Gambians anywhere on the globe! The National Assembly is not secondary to any person, authority or organ in The Gambia. The National Assembly does not require the permission of anybody to do its job.

I therefore call on the Speaker and each and every NAM to cause a public hearing on the nationwide internet shutdown experienced within the past 24 hours! We need your leadership.

For The Gambia Our Homeland