Reports of the presidential tour in the media so far indicate that the Gambian citizens are actively engaging the president and his delegation on issues of national development. Listening to the various speakers at the meetings, one will realize that the issues are crosscutting and most of them need to be addressed with a sense of urgency.
It is hoped that the delegation includes someone whose sole responsibility is to take down notes on what the people are saying so that when they return to their offices, they will use that as a guidepost to fulfill the needs of the people of the country.
Gambians have very high expectations on President Barrow and his government and they need to see that their wishes and aspirations are met. That is exactly what is called development. It is the ability of the people to have their needs fulfilled by the government.
President Barrow is also making a lot of promises and it is hoped that the people – the media in particular – will catalogue all these promises and find ways of ensuring that they are not just rhetoric but that they are translated into tangible actions for the good of our people.
During the past government, we saw how these tours had become political rallies with little or no meaning. Promises would be made, demands explained but immediately after the tour, all these would be discarded like an unwanted rag. The change that occurred on December 1st should also be translated into these actions, promises and demands. They should be met and fulfilled for the people.