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Monday, November 29, 2021

Letters: Misuse of government vehicles by the Vehicle Control Unit

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Dear Editor,

Is President Adama Barrow aware of the misuse of government vehicles by the  Government Vehicle Control at the Office of the President or is his office just turning a blind eye? It is a well-known fact that anytime there is an occasion such as a presidential tour, election campaign, launching or inauguration of projects, this powerful unit commandeers vehicles from ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) under the pretext of allocating them to party patrons, yai compin, and sycophants to attend such events.

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However, even after such events, the Vehicle Control Unit retains some of these vehicles for weeks or even months for personal use and for dubious reasons, leaving the rightful owners stranded and desperate to implement their activities and programmes under the NDP. At the end of the day, the MDAs are forced to pay exorbitant amounts of money as unplanned budget as night allowance to their drivers whose vehicles were commandeered for whatever exercise, God knows. All the officers do is to continuously grumble to their ministers who dare not utter a word. Sad situation!

This unit, was the same unit in operation under Yahya Jammeh`s lawless government. President Barrow has made no changes in this unit and it happily and carelessly continues to operate like in the Jammeh days. It gives orders to permanent secretaries and directors just because they are under the Office of the President.

This seizure of vehicles from MDAs has greatly hampered the implementation of planned activities of the National Development Plan, the development blueprint of Barrow`s government and is a direct sabotage to this government.

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This style of operation by the Vehicle Control Unit, inherited from the previous government, was not expected to continue in the present government but it seems this government has turned a blind eye to this malpractice by the unit because it satisfies the needs of the Office of the President. Furthermore, we have seen that the current government has not made any significant changes in its mode of administration different from the past government as a whole. Carbon copy is the order of the day-mass rallies, using government resources, at the expense of taxpayers. This is not what we anticipated from the present government and something should be done to put a stop to these administrative malpractices before other ugly faces, other than the military, appear on the scene.

Therefore, the terms of reference for the Vehicle Control Unit should be revised and a clear-cut mandate be prescribed for it. They are getting out of hand and should not be allowed to operate with a free hand. I rest my case.

Concerned citizen

Name and address withheld on request

December 4th election: Let’s vote for who is best not who we think can win!

Dear Editor,

Your vote is your choice! I am an independent who can vote for anyone, but one word that stands out that many cannot find themselves in is, “consistency”. If you are a politician and cannot associate yourself with that word know that you have lost me. Politics may be a game to others, but for me it’s not just about serving your nation, but actually meaning what one says. When one talks about the chances of winning, take note that you and I can reverse that by starting a movement. If I happen to inspire 8,000 of my followers let alone my 5,000 plus friends, you can bring along 100 or 200. I am not naive to say that I speak for all my friends and followers, but we are going to make this a movement to bring about conscious minds to task. Let us give Halifa Sallah a chance for he was there to mold us through peace when dictatorship tested us. He was there to take a position in the most useful body to shape the laws that govern us. He is still there in the busiest business centre in Serekunda showing us he fancies nothing but living with the average people. We have given the first two years to the UDP and the last three years to Barrow. It’s time to test the most consistent politician in our generation to head the most important office. Together we can start making PDOIS the party of substance with its manifesto well published before anyone. We saw how confused some were when the UDP defended five years and now three years only to suit their interests. We have also seen how promises were dashed and put in the toilet only because “politicians will say anything to get elected”. Gambians, I hereby declare that my sacred document and power – my ballot – for choosing our next leader will be cast for Honourable Halifa Sallah. I hope you join me to make that dream a reality. It’s about time we vote for what’s best for the country, than who we think has a better chance of winning. Together, we can make this a movement. In Obama’s voice, yes we can!

#AnIndependentForHalifa  #YourVoteYourChoice  #GambiaFirst

Momodou Alieu Njai

[email protected]

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