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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

LETTERS: On the Minister of Information

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On the Minister of Information

Dear editor,

During his interview on the Fatu Network, the Information minister kept repeating that the licence of the private security firm that was found to have imported guns into the country has been suspended for now.
“Suspended for now” is not good enough.
Mr Information Minister, should private security firms be importing guns into the country? The government should not be issuing licence to anyone to import guns into the country. There’s no need in The Gambia for private entities to be importing guns into the country no matter what some 1924 law says.

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The information minister also mentioned that from next month, GRTS will start having reporters at the ministries for better delivery and news management in the government. I mean what is the minister really talking about?
Should GRTS be placing news reporters at government ministries to help the government better manage and deliver its news? Who’ll believe in the impartiality from such news reporters? Embedded journalism!
Come on! Mr Minister, the government has one too many spokespersons. The spokesperson for the president is the spokesperson of the government. There’s no need for another government spokesperson and it’s not for GRTS to be placing news reporters at government ministries when there’s no news to cover from the ministries. The minister also said that the amount of public money that the president wasted on his foreign travels is normal and has been budgeted for. That’s ridiculous!
On the coalition agreement, the minister does not know what he was talking about. Anyone who claims that the coalition agreement contradicts the Constitution of The Gambia is confusing two different things.

The coalition agreement is a political agreement and it only needs the political will to be implemented. It has nothing to do with what the Constitution of The Gambia says on the tenure of the president.
The implementation of the coalition agreement is dependent on the outcome of the political process.
Not that there’s any hope of resurrecting the coalition agreement again since Darboe’s car crash interview on the issue.
The minister rambled on many different topics but overall, the interview was a lightweight delivery.

If anything the minister’s interview summed up the quality and the weight of the Barrow government.
The Barrow government lacks the competence and a grasp of the real challenges facing The Gambia in laying the foundations for good governance and economic development in an open democracy.
The Barrow government is a lightweight government. The commitment to uphold freedom of speech and expression is welcome. Other than that, the interview was just one of those Barrow government bland interviews. The Gambia is crying out for political leadership!

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Yusupha ‘Major’ Bojang

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