Momodou Camara (Acca)
Good morning comrades! Three years JOTNA, (3-YRSJOTNA) is a lofty agenda and platform and deserved to be debated.
The cause should also be given a fair hearing.
However, we must be cognizant of the facts that our total collection of facts, opinions, resources and propaganda in this 3-YRSJOTNA is NOT EQUAL to our collective rights as Gambians backed by the Constitution of the land which is the supreme embodiment of all laws in The Gambia.
We all voted and voted in a Coalition Government led by President Barrow into power.
At that material point in time then we did what was constitutional despite all the war mongering.
Our votes gave President Barrow the mandate to serve a mandate of 5 years was also constitutional.
Mathematically speaking Jammeh was defeated by less than 25,000 votes and Hon. Mamma Kandeh was the King maker and he remains to this day! We have to be careful about the issues before us and if anybody wants to use the 3-YRSJOTNA to demonstrate, bring about a state of emergency, burn, loot or at worse still to stage a coup and it will be very unfair the rest of Gambians who are not a party to that agenda. Please give peace a chance and wait. Patience is a virtue and we owe it to this great country of ours.
Gambia is at a cross road and now is the hour for every Gambians to see country over ambition.
We must work harder both the governors and the governed to preserve the peace and consolidate the gains of our new found freedom in our match to build a better country.
The Gambia and all Gambians home and abroad have a great duty to give peace yet another chance yet again.
We did it for Jammeh and we won and we can do the same for Barrow and yet again win.
The gains of our victories will be translated into tanagible development and rule or law and peace for our kin and kindred as per our religious teachings, beliefs and cultural norms.
If not for anything, let us give peace a chance for our lovely children who looked up to us for sustenance and leadership in a world that they are inexperience to live? If we are to do justice to the present administration we must look at both sides and I intend to do mine in the following adjoining lines.
There are many things going wrong in present day Gambia but also there are things going right too.
Before we delve into that I would suggest you go back to your history books and read ‘men and power’. Since the dawn of the 21st.
century and you will agree with me that ……..after the fall of any dictatorship be it military or monarch it will take on average three to four successive governments before things normalize……The Gambia has a great chance to be an exception but only if we keep the peace and engage each other in healthy debates as to the way forward? The only way we save this country and preserve it for our children is by learning from the mistakes of others and not from our own mistakes.
In the Post-Jammeh Gambia and under the leadership of President Adama Barrow we have been blessed with free speech.
This is very healthy and we need it as the Press serves as the Fourth Arm of Government and holds public officials to account.
We have also seen the emergence of new TV stations.
We have also witnessed the ease of relation with our neighbours and the border tensions have disappeared with Jammeh.
We have also seen the threat of arrests and disappearances gone with the wind.
We have seen lesser and lesser roadblocks and ‘Jay-DOLLEH’ syndrome in our societies.
We also witnessed a slide growth in tourist numbers.
The rampant sacking of civil servants have equally gone.
The free holidays have been curtailed. The streets have become cleaner despite not holding end of months last staurrday ‘set-setals’.
On the negative side we have seen no jobs being created. The Groundnut Trade season is still where Jammeh left it! The Back-Way-Boys Funds from the EU and other Bodies are not well communicated as to how to access it? Most of it might have been expensed and it will good to bring that topic back to Parliament and brief the Gambians how the funds have been utilized and who and who benefitted? The youths are very idle as seen during the Ousman Darboe melee and rampage characterized by gangster style rule and indiscipline.
Those pictures are still giving me sleepless nights and are we really and truly watching those videos and see what our boys are capable of doing negativism and in lawlessness? The sad aspect of the whole melee the youths do not even know the implications of their actions.
The Commission Style ‘raba-raba’ announced by the Minister of Interior is not the solution. Many commissions came and went and still the situations persist.
You need to engage the youths! You need a distraction and get the youths occupied in well paid jobs and not these musical chairs commissions.
The saddest aspect of the whole Commission thing and thing is the monies wasted and spent on them without thought that we are a very poor country and those funds could be utilized better in more pressing budget lines.
This commission, that commission, this panel and that panel is duplication of roles and responsibilities and indeed very sad.
When will the educated class refrain from misleading the masses? I must laud the TRRC for the revelations and establishing the facts of the past but I will encourage them to manage and control the sensitive information more and put more emphasis on Reparations? The youths want assurances, they need jobs, they need a strong leadership, they need justice, they need opportunities, they need hereafter school engagements, they need scholarships, they need love and above all care and understanding.
We must reach out to the youths and sadly all the funds available are not allocated and not disbursed and they are not implemented.
The President and the presidency must be informed that it is not sinking.
The trickling down effects are not felt or seen with all the millions earmarked for youth and youth enterprise and maybe a few and handful of youths are milking the pots at the detriment of the nation.
The fertilizer is not disbursed and if so it is not well communicated and is not equally reaching the youths of the ‘Hakalang Belt’, the Wullis, the Samis and Nianis to mention but a few areas in The Gambia.
The pseudo technocrats around our ministries and State House must understand that they not doing it for Barrow or Busenty but for themselves and also as service to country.
These funds they sit on are meant for Gambians in whose name they have been solicited.
There should be rapid disbursement of these monies with minimum requirements and a workable checklist to enable the average Gambians to access them.
Go and see the good works that FASDEP is doing around the country and emulate for once.
There are lofty projects in all ministries and other organizations but they have virtually turned all those projects into family owned enterprises.
The Gambian educated class are very naïve and corrupt in implementing projects and the TOR that we set for attainment from the world APPROVED.
Please do us a favour and do not tear the country into pieces to feed you insatisfaibale appetite for illicit money and wealth.
You lot have proven since independence and transformation to nationhood that your pens and signatures are just for SELF ENRICHMENT AND EMBEZZLEMENT.
Time is up to turn a new page and those days should be a thing of the past and please do not try to muzzle the press despite so far so good or keep some of us silent for speaking out against graft, injustice and abnormal and unethical behaviours.
Whistleblowers are an asset to every decent nation and The Gambia must not be an exception! In conclusion on PART ONE of this write up and looking at still the dark side of Post Jammeh Gambia as we live in it today, we have seen an inherent risk as prevailed to us in figments of an emerging New Middle Class forming.
These are Chartered Accountants, lawyers and Permanents Secretaries, Ministers, Police Top Commanders, Area Councilors, etc and some in the inner circles of the presidency forming clubs and cabals at the detriment of the masses and this is a direct affront to reasons that brought about the 1994 Coup.
It seems Gambians do not want to learn from the TRRC’s lessons and revealations.
We have also seen the proliferation of too many Commissions of enquiry whose final reports are either not seen or misleading and one classical example is The SSHFC SAGA where the reigning Managing Director was indicted beyond all reasonable doubts by the Office of the Ombudsman through the Ombudsman Report of October 2018 on SSHFC and yet men of power, influence and political capital decided to do the unethical thing and entrenched him in office.
Where on the face of the civilize world will you see a public servant caught stealing and engaged in other office malpractices be left in his position? Victimising the innocent have never been a receipe of calm and orderliness and long after the saga is gone, the decision maker will never rest as it is only the truth that is durable.
The issue is not the saga but what lessons, messages and signals are we sending to our international development partners and to the wider Gambian society here and abroad? What are also the impacts and ramifications to Gambia’s corporate governance?