By Omar Bah
In the wake of the recent controversy surrounding the alleged diversion of Covid-19 medical equipment to the First Lady’s office, the Gambia Action Party has called on the National Assembly to pass a bill to eliminate the Office of the First Lady.
“We want to emphasise that the First Lady has no official function in this country and there is nothing official in being the wife of the president. The Constitution has not recognised any role for the First Lady,” GAP said in a statement signed by its deputy leader Omar Beyai.
The party criticised the government’s decision to allow the donated medical equipment to go through the First Lady’s office.
“A GAP government will eliminate the Office of the First Lady,” the party added.
GAP sought clarity from the government on whether the Office of the First Lady is a leading sector for the relief packages meant for the fight against Covid-19.
“Under normal circumstances and going by the ethics of democracy and good governance, the Office of the First Lady must not be allowed to operate in the governance process or structure of the nation. Unfortunately, more rooms have been given to this office by the presidency,” GAP added.
The party said it cannot understand who is the First Lady’s office serving when there is already a ministry responsible for women’s affairs.
“We expect the mother of the nation to be responsible enough and act under her husband as a housewife. Do away with governance matters Madame First Lady. We call on the Ministry of Health to agitate about these anomalies.”
The party has also urged President Adama Barrow to respect the demands of the civil society and frontline workers on Covid-19 to avoid causing a calamity in the country.
“We urge the president to respect the concern of the people and address the nation on a daily basis on the uncertainty surrounding the country’s health crisis,” GAP said in the statement.
“At a time when Gambians are dying and the Covid-19 situation is worsening,the president cannot remain silent when our frontline workers are suffering under abnormal circumstances. This is unacceptable,” the party added.
GAP said Barrow’s leadership during these trying times has once again demonstrated his inability to lead the country.
“We sympathise with our gallant frontline workers who risk their lives to save this country and her people from total collapse. We vehemently condemn the porous attitude of the Barrow administration in the fight against Covid-19,” GAP added.
The party also urged the government to secure protective gears for all frontline workers.
“Our gallant frontline workers dedicated to the course of service of humanity in the best interests of the nation and sacrificed so much under very difficult circumstances have either contracted the virus or have died,” GAP said.