By Amadou Jadama
A former secretary general of the Gambia Federation of the Disabled who is also a politician, has told President Adama Barrow to reshuffle his cabinet and sack six ministers for his government to succeed.
Speaking to The Standard over the weekend, Lamin Manneh argued: “Nothing is moving in this country. I am strongly warning President Barrow that the earlier he reshuffles his cabinet the better for him, and the better for the country. Let him do so as quickly as possible. The cabinet is not performing. As such, there is no justification for the increase of the salaries and allowances of the ministers and the National Assembly Members, more so, given the current dire economic situation of the country. Look at our nurses, security personnel, teachers and others who are dying because of low wages,” he said.
“There are no medicines in our hospitals, our educational system is collapsing, teachers are always going on strikes and Gambians are hungry. Let Barrow know that. If he fails to change his cabinet, he will not achieve anything and Gambians will continue to hold him and his government in contempt. Some members of his cabinet do not deserve to be there because they are not functioning. Let the president appoint competent and credible people who are willing and ready to serve this country, if he wants to succeed in these five years.”
Mr Manneh added: “If he continues with this cabinet there is going to be a total failure of his government. Not all the ministers are bad, but most of them needed to be changed immediately. Dr Ahmadou Samateh of Health, Hamat Bah of Tourism, Ebrima Sillah of Works, Lamin Queen Jammeh of Information, Musa Drammeh of Fisheries and Fatou Kinteh of Social Welfare, should all be given marching orders as soon as possible,” Manneh urged.
Mr Manneh also expressed his disappointment at the appointment of some ambassadors and consular staff at Gambian diplomatic missions abroad.
He said instead of setting up more embassies, the government should downsize.
“About 95 percent of those appointed are not credible; only five are. In fact, we should try to reduce the number of Gambian embassies because most of them are a waste of public funds,” he claimed.
He said the hundreds of millions of dalasis spent on the upkeep of the missions should instead be channelled into the productive sectors of the economy, health, education, and agriculture.
Mr Manneh said the members of his federation have little to be thankful to the government for “because since the so-called Disability Bill was enacted in 2021, nothing has been implemented. No action has been taken about the implementation,” he concluded.