Is it business as usual?

Dear mr. President

Mr. President, your predecessor brought this country to her knees mainly through two things:
1. Jammeh was very successful in dismantling almost all structures of governance in this country.
2. He tortured Gambians me

ntally and physically to a level that no other minds, but his, mattered in running the affairs of this country.
Mr. President, what has the change that brought in your government to do with the above two then?
To start with, through their votes, Gambians in their majority decided to effectively end Jammeh’s tyranny meted out on them over the course of his 22 years rule. Often a time, people are heard thanking you for ending the torture/tyranny that engulfed our country during the Jammeh era, but the truth is that Gambians who voted Jammeh out are the ones who in effect ended his tyranny, and therefore, should be the ones deserving that felicitation more.

Secondly, the peaceful change of government through ballot box means that Gambians have decided to entrust you to rebuild the broken structures of governance left behind by Jammeh. Unlike his tyranny which automatically came to a halt when he was voted out, voters by themselves could not directly jointly rebuild our governance structures. Somebody, therefore, has to do that for them. By voting in you and your team, Gambians have tasked you to do that on their behalf and for them, and by so doing, they expected you to give them and our country a new overall direction as well.

The following are two of some crucial areas Gambians are eagerly looking up for in that new direction:
To start, they are looking for your government’s plan for our youths who were left hopeless and helpless by the former government. What is your government’s plan to help our youths out, Mr. President? Your youths minister or ministry have not sofar articulated any plans or positions to this effect. Articulating a plan, and starting to implementing it should be the main focus of our minister for youths. So far, the minister and his ministry have failed in that regard.

Secondly, Gambians are craving for your government’s plan to revitalize the backbone of our economy, that is, our agricultural sector. All your minister of agriculture is heard of saying was plans being laid to buy farmers’ peanuts with outside assisted money. Mr. President, our government buying farmers’ peanuts with outside help isn’t any plan to revitalize our agriculture.

In this day and age, focus should be on diversification of agriculture to revitalize the sector. Gambia should be thriving towards food self-sufficiency through mechanized agriculture, and by adding value to our agricultural produce by means of processing. If we are focused on and motivated to produce what we consume ourselves, and for which there is demand in the international markets, surely, in the not too distance future, Gambia wouldn’t need any assisted money to facilitate the purchase our farmers’ peanuts. Currently Mr. President, there are doubts as to whether your ministry of Agriculture has what it takes to revitalize our vital agricultural sector. Revitalizing the sector would require thinking outside the usual box of how things are being done.

Mr. President, since the coming into being of your administration, it is still business as usual in these aforementioned critical sectors. Your government has yet to lay any formidable plan/s that would appear outside the usual box of how business is done in order to put this country on a path to self-sufficiency in food; nor have your government laid any plan that prepares our youths for the challenges of the future.

Mr. President, important to note also is your government’s total failure, to date, to bring about the needed changes to our dilapidated structures of governance left behind by the former government. This changes of structures should not just be limited to the mere changes of personnel in various government departments. By changes of structures of governance, a complete overhaul of the system is what Gambians are looking up for. Mr. President, that certainly includes having certain goverment departments scrapped, having some departments trimmed, and creating few new ones with efforts to boost productivity, efficiency and effectiveness of our entire government. In effect Mr. President, Gambians want to see a leaner, more effective and efficient government/civil service.

In the area of corruption, Mr. President, while we do not expect your government to stamp corruption in its entirety out, no other government in this world can, we expect your government to come up with policies and programs that would address it. You can never succeed in developing this economy less something tangible is done about the unprecedented level of corruption. However, it is also true that you would never succeed doing something meaningful about the level of corruption less people’s pay means something to them. Salaries are too small, and therefore need to be looked into first, before your government is able to effectively do anything about the endemic corruption in the country.

Mr. President, the success or otherwise of your government would largely be defined by what you choose to do about the plight of our youths, what you choose to do to reform our agricultural sector, and finally, what you choose to do about the crumbled structures of governance left behind by former President Jammeh. Undoubtedly, these are daunting challenges, we know, but with commitment and dedication, you certainly can do them.While I express my love for you, I also want to wish for you and your government all the best of luck.

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