WHO IS MORE PRESIDENT, OBAMA OR JAMMEH?
The hard working Gambian farmers have witnessed an opera by President Jammeh and his government in Sapu and McCarthy with the pretence of promoting rice farming. Like many ill-fated visions before it, the Jammeh government came out with VISION 2016 with sole aim of making food poverty a thing of the past and even exporting excess food. Just like its sister VISION 2020, which also aims to transform The Gambia in twenty-five years, into dynamic middle income country, a tourist paradise, a trading export-oriented agriculture and manufacturing nation, vision2016 is another illusion and fantasy of President Jammeh that will never be realise in our life time. Am not naive to know that, every development plan or strategy is based on a vision but it is foolish and self-deceiving to accept something from President Jammeh, when you know that, he is blatantly lying and blowing a hot air. President Jammeh’s shameful record in office shows that, visions are political exercises and waste of Gambian tax payers’ dalasi.
Food poverty is a serious issue and it is blighting the lives of thousands of our compatriots and their families on daily basis. The eradication of financial and food poverty forms essential part of the Vision 2020, and yet after twenty years, more Gambians are trapped in poverty and food is expensive than ever. Gambians aspire to have decent living standard for their families and affordable prices for their food stuff than anything else. People struggle to afford one square meal a day as the price of goods and services like rice have risen over 100% since the illegal takeover of government in 1994. Why would hard-working Gambian farmers believe in a fantasy like Vision 2016, when they could not achieve food security and decent living in twenty years of your Vision 2020, Mr. President?
Mr. President, when you and your intoxicated military mates defied your duties and rudely took over power from the lame leadership of president Jawara, food security has never be a priority but a political football. The PPP despite their thousands of failures and disappointments, food security and affordable food prices were achieved during their time. They declared the rainy season a hungry season and have been supported by the international community. When the food aid arrives, they shared the food to all Gambians despite their political affiliation. This saved a lot of money for the ordinary people; they used the saving to pay school fees, and other necessities. By time of the harvest, the farmers have enough food hence less need for the imported rice. In addition, the PPP under the ageing and visionary of Sir Dawda Jawara, engaged in RE-EPORT TRADE where they support the fledging private sector by importing like large quantity of goods like rice and sell it to local traders, who export it to sub-region. Therefore, at any point in time, there is enough of rice in the country to keep the price down. That is a vision, which works. Let’s come to your wishing full thinking, President Jammeh .When you went around the world begging on behave of Gambians, your greediness and lack of sympathy for the plight of poorest members of our community, could not allow you to give those gifts to Gambians. You formed KGI Company and employ your relatives and families to sell that rice from Japan; tractors from India just to mention a few, at exorbitant market prices. Instead of you giving the proceeds from the sales of those gifts to the GRA, You diverted it to finance your flamboyant life style .Building and demolishing mosques at tune of D75million, throwing parties, using it to pay for under sex with fair colour girls like Aisha Njie. Those gifts of rice and agricultural equipment’s will have alleviate poverty among Gambians and in long term ensure food security. Your central bank has been publishing data which shows that, the re-export trade have been falling year on year. This is due to fact that, the state under your despotic leadership lacks the imagination to take the re-export trade to a new level where you will be ahead of competition from our neighbours like Senegal. The Senegalese over the past twenty years have been more economic prosperous and political enlighten and free, than their sisters and brothers in Gambia due to your bankrupt economic visions like vision2020 and an acute lack of political pluralism and democratic freedoms.
When one carefully consider the capacity for food production in The Gambia ,which is needed to achieve Vision2016,it become easier to conclude that it will remain a figment of your imagination, president Jammeh . The farming methods, equipment, the irrigation system, the land, which are available to hard-working Gambian farmers, are so basic that, they cannot dramatically increase food production within two years. In addition, the land available to rice production is limited and The Gambia is only 11000sq meters. How on earth, can Gambia farmers use that land to produce enough food to feed over two million people, to house over two million people ,to build schools, hospitals etc, on 11000sq meters? Do you think about that, Babili mansa? Stop lying to Gambians, president Jammeh, vision2016 is not workable but just a, fantasy.
As the global economy is recovering from the greatest depression since the 1930s, national economies are recalibrating their finances and systems to make them resilience to avoid future economic collapse. Gambia cannot be immune from that, despite been one the smallest economy in the sub region. Food security either through genuine attempt to increase food production and affordable imported food prices. We can only achieve that, if we get rid of President Jammeh and his family cartel of businesses and replace it with genuine partnership with the private sector. We will pay a heavy price and put great burden on future generation, if we did not solve Gambia’s food poverty. President Jammeh’s words and vision2016, is as good as a fool’s gold.