Monday, July 22, 2024

National Assembly Member Hon. Madi Cessay on Overcoming Infrastructure and Social Challenges in Serrekunda West

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By Michaella Faith Wright

In an insightful and candid interview, we had the privilege of speaking with Honorable Madi Cessay, the National Assembly Member for Serrekunda West. Cessay, known for his straightforward approach and dedication to his constituents, delved into the pressing issues affecting his constituency, the current state of the market, the political landscape of the United Democratic Party (UDP), and recent developments regarding Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGMC).

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Honorable Madi Cessay began by addressing the concerns of many residents regarding the infrastructure in Serrekunda West. He clarified that, as a member of Parliament, his role does not extend to constructing roads or building drainage systems. “It is essential for my constituents to understand that these responsibilities fall under the purview of the ministers, not a member of Parliament,” Cessay emphasized. He noted that the lack of necessary funds hampers the development of infrastructure, and it is the government’s duty to allocate resources for such projects.

Cessay was forthright in stating that while he advocates for the needs of his people within the legislative framework, the execution of these projects lies with the Barrow government. “Despite my best efforts, I am limited by the scope of my role. The government should be the one to implement these essential infrastructure projects,” he reiterated.

Honorable Cessay acknowledged the high expectations his constituents have of him, especially in terms of delivering tangible improvements. However, he pointed out that there is a significant gap between what his role entails and what the public often expects. “My people expect much from me, which is understandable, but it is important to realize that I am working within my capacity as a parliamentarian. The Barrow government must step up and fulfill its responsibilities,” he stated.

Cessay’s comments reflect a broader challenge faced by many elected officials in regions with significant developmental needs. The gap between public expectations and governmental responsibilities often leads to frustration among constituents.

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As the main opposition party in The Gambia, the UDP is gearing up for the next election with a clear focus on addressing the needs of the masses. Honorable Madi Cessay spoke passionately about their preparations and the party’s vision for the future. “We have a deep interest in the welfare of the people, and our preparations reflect this commitment,” he declared.

Cessay highlighted one of their key objectives: to ensure that every Gambian can afford basic necessities like a bag of rice. This goal underscores the UDP’s commitment to improving the living standards of the average Gambian. “Our vision is to make essential goods accessible to all, and this will be a central part of our campaign,” he added.

In discussing FGMC, Honorable Cessay touched on a deeply entrenched cultural practice that has serious implications for the rights and health of women and girls in The Gambia. He acknowledged the cultural roots of FGMC and the challenges in eradicating the practice despite the former president’s ban. “At the beginning, it was part of our culture, and despite the ban, people continue to practice it in hiding, violating the rights of women and girls,” he remarked.

Cessay called for sustained efforts to combat FGMC, emphasizing the need for continued education and enforcement of laws to protect women and girls. “This is a significant issue that requires ongoing attention and action. We must work together to ensure the safety and rights of our women and girls,” he asserted.

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Honorable Madi Cessay concluded the interview by reiterating the scope of his responsibilities as a parliamentarian. “Every Gambian should understand that my role is to represent my constituents and advocate for their needs within the legislative framework. I am not responsible for providing financial support for infrastructure projects; that is the duty of the government,” he concluded.

Cessay’s candid discussion sheds light on the complexities of governance and the multifaceted challenges faced by the people of Serrekunda West. His commitment to his constituents is evident, but his remarks also highlight the broader systemic issues that need to be addressed by the government. As Serrekunda West and the rest of The Gambia gear up for the next election, the call for improved infrastructure, economic stability, and the protection of women’s rights remains a focal point for Honorable Madi Cessay and the UDP.

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