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Kandeh says corruption remains biggest threat to Gambia’s development

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By Omar Bah

The leader of the opposition Gambia Democratic Congress has said corruption remains the biggest threat to Gambia’s development and security.

In his New Year’s message, Mamma Kandeh said.

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“The country’s economy is in bad shape and we cannot continue to lose millions which will end up in the pocket of a few individuals at the expense of the taxpayers. The fight for corruption should be ruthless because an economy that cannot stand on its own must be more willing to end corruption.”

The GDC leader said the country’s health sector has failed to live up to expectations in 2023, adding the sector cannot continue to underperform under current economic challenges.

“Many Gambians had to spend millions of dalasi in 2023 on medical treatment in Senegal and other countries while a lot of government officials were taken for overseas treatment at the expense of taxpayers. People are losing hope in our very own health sector and we must fight harder to regain our health sector’s integrity. The bar must be raised as the world continues to face unexpected health issues which we should prepare to fight at any time,” he said.

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Commenting on the country’s security, Kandeh said: “Irrespective of our differences the security in this country is crippling by the day. If we are not assured of our own freedom at all times, it will kill every chance of attracting investors, protecting businesses, lives and properties in this country. The security force must be well equipped to confront criminals because the population cannot be held hostage.”

Moving on to the plight of the youths, Kandeh added: “We have registered a good number of youths who lost their lives through this back way journey to Europe. The tragic deaths of these youths need to be looked into with actions. We have seen images of some of these migrants being captured, maltreated and others beaten to death. We are losing our future as a country through this deadly journey and the government must stand up to address this situation with tangible solutions.

“It is a known fact that those engaged in this back way journey are due to the economic hardship in this country and the lack of opportunities which led to taking this perilous journey.

Finally, the high cost of living is seriously forcing almost all Gambians to hardship. The average Gambians are seriously feeling the pang of hunger which couples with the poor salary scale. Soaring costs are widening health inequalities, weakening food security and diminishing health and social care.”

He said the increasing cost of living in The Gambia is affecting countless people and families across the nation.

“With these problems we are confronted with including other imperative areas that need reflection. I call on the government to give more attention to these areas in the 12 months to come,” he added.

He said the next 12 months must be months of delivery and focus on collective efforts to meet the hopes and aspirations of Gambians.  

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