Youngest delegate tasks NYC
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
As youths demand ownership of Youth Monument Bar and Restaurant
Omar Cham, the youngest delegate at the 2008 biennial National Youth Conference and Festival (NAYCONF) currently taking place at the North Bank Region (NBR), has taken the National Youth Council (NYC) to task, demanding immediate incorporation of children in the National Youth Policy Act, and other activities of young people.
Age fifteen, and from Western Region, Omar made these demand last Friday, at the conference hall of the Farrafenni Youth Center, during a session reviewing progresses made after the 2006 NAYCONF resolutions drawn in Brikama, Western Region.
He argued that NYC was not showing up any interest on the children sector, citing the fact that since the beginning of this year's conference on Thursday, there had been no mention with regards to empowerment of children.
He said that youth and children of The Gambia must be given equal empowerment opportunity that would enable them grow and become effective and responsible future leaders. He further told the National Youth Council to inculcate in them the mentality that it is the children who will take up the responsibilities of NYC in the nearest future. Omar's criticism was reported to have received widespread approval among majority of conference delegates.
Demand for the famous monument meanwhile, delegates put forward a strong demand, asking for ownership and control of the famous Youth Monument Bar and Restaurant, located at the West Field Junction. Reports indicated that the youths are requesting that the bar and restaurant be run and managed by the young people, under the auspices of the National Youth Council. They argued that the name given to the restaurant was merely an attempt to baffle the young people as it had absolutely no bearing on their development.
But the chairperson of the National Youth Council, Alhagie Kebbeh, was unequivocal in his response. He told delegates that the name given to the restaurant actually emanated from the youth monument situated at the very West Field junction, but that the area was a property purely under the Kanifing Municipal Council.
Njundou Drammeh of the Child Protection Alliance (CPA) was at hand to support the remarks of Mr Kebbeh, indicating that, the youths' demand for the place had no genuine base whatsoever, as the property did not belong to the National Youth Council.
The youth monument has been at the centre of these kind of debate for sometime now, with many who share the idea of putting under the ownership of the youth, arguing that it would serve not only as source of revenue for the youth council, but also it inculcate some feeling of responsibility on the youth of the country.
Author: by Amadou Jallow in Farrafenni, NBR