WHAT THE BARROW GOVERNMENT IS DOING WRONG

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PRESIDENT BARROW

It is said “unreasonable demands often breathe bile into impotent rage, which soon turns rancid and bitter”. Thus, making one conclude that one is swimming against tempestuous waves of conspiracy. Anyone that defy your standpoint becomes a sellout. Unfortunately, being antiestablishment in new Gambian has become a swag-whether it is rooted on reasonable or unreasonable intent and purpose. On the other hand, celebrating the new government’s gains boxed as opportunistic. Honesty, however, instils no matter one’s proposition one must align himself or herself with factual truth even if it tests your person. Same is legit in holding a government accountable.

Dictatorship has been laid to rest with our concerted effort and desire to have a voice in how we are governed and by who. The Barrow leadership is everything that Jammeh never was. Does that make it perfect? Certainly not. Therefore, to help it perfect its imperfections, we must reasonably hold it to account by pointing out its omissions and substantiating our objection with corrective alternatives. For instance, even Foday Jawla who lays his life for the leadership without a second thought agrees it is fitting to replace the Jammeh cronies still on taxpayers’ cheques. In a nutshell, regime change must be complimented by systematic unfolding of system change. Without a complete system change desk on both institutional and practice changes the leadership efforts to achieve its goals will remain elusive. Evidence to my claim is plastered vividly on the ongoing commission of enquiry into Goloh Ajumah’s financial undercurrents. Goloh Ajumah was assisted to loot us by some public and private sector Gambians without any physical coercion. None so far has told the commission that s/he was physically forced to assist in the looting even after Goloh Ajumah left the country. If such person remains in the system, what guarantees do the Barrow leadership has to assure us that s/he will not continue to milk our national coffers?

The other area that the leadership needs to heavily invest in is cutting on unnecessary government expenditures. According to what they are telling us, they inherited empty coffers from Goloh yet some of them fly more than birds in the air. The huge entourage that travels with the leadership on government expenses must be scaled down to save us some Bututs. Fatou Camara has equally highlighted that GG vehicles frequent our streets far more than the cabbies. Such vehicles don’t run on water and what even makes it worse is great proportion of those journeys are not official. I still recollect Balfour Ankomah’s article “A Stranger in Banjul” published in New African Magazine many moons ago. He could not hide his dismay on how the Jawara leadership comfortably watched appalling state of Banjul given its size without much ado.

A similar grey area that needs fixing by the Barrow leadership is setting its priorities right. A classic example is the Tourism Ministry. What kind of Tourism is Hon Bah selling to the Chinese? Please don’t tell me it is health or conference Tourism. Can any sane Gambian foresee Chinese coming as tourists to Banjul? Added up to this is the unreasonable relocation of the Ministry of Interior. One could have understood if the Ministry was under potential threat at its former location or the whole of the quadrangle. Then it would have been advisable to disperse the ministries to avert one major attack on all of them given their proximity. Since Gambia is not expose to any targeted potential terror threat what is the logic and financial gain of relocating the Ministry?

Sulayman Jeng
Birmingham, UK


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