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Monday, October 2, 2023

Letters to the Editor

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When shall our leaders be real and
stop misrepresenting us, the sovereign citizens?

Dear editor,

A government doesn’t need to make “big hairy and audacious goal” to be loved and cherished by its citizenry, but devise and put into practice policies and programmes that represent the wishes and aspirations of the depositories of state’s sovereignty, the citizens.

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Are our political power holders real from Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara to Yahya AJJ Jammeh to Adama Barrow?
When can the power transfer from strange corners of State House to all corners of the nation?
When can we be properly represented as a sovereign state?
Sir Dawda Jawara envisioned to make the Gambia the “Singapore of West Africa,” but ended up messing up everything. The economy of the Gambia experienced failure, declining the world market price of groundnuts, rising import price, balance of payment deficits, increasing government spending etc. This even forced the old man to hand over power according to Roberts A. (2013) in 1991 but the ruling PPP and the nation, we are told, thought that it was unwise.
The PPP’s motto: “Vox populi, vox Dei” meaning, the voice of the people is the voice of God; became unpopular due to immense failure to meet the demands of the people.


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Then came Jammeh with his “big hairy audacious” vision 2020 which was pronounced “to transform The Gambia into a sub-regional financial service center- a center capable of offering investors a suite of financial product options and financial solutions” along the line, he also messed up as all efforts were directed towards political motivations, keeping the APRC at the helm of governmental affairs.
Finally came a traveling President, Adama Barrow who and his ministers keep traveling the whole world to scramble for per diems like the European imperialists scrambled for Africa in the colonial era; whiles water, electricity and other basic needs are in catastrophic conditions back home.
Do not get me wrong, it’s understood that democracy is expensive, governance is expensive and the Gambia must pursue her foreign policy, but must be done wisely, because we will not allow our money to be wasted again.
Mr Barrow promised a stable electricity supply in months; but failed in the process.
I want a response: where does power lie in The Gambia?


Sanna Badjie,
Political science student, UTG


What contract does the President have to donate to Parliamentarians?

Dear editor,

I didn’t judge President Barrow’s morality. I judged his action. What kind of society are we where actions cannot be evaluated for their impact? That’s immaturity. Only kids act without expecting their actions to be judged.
The value of the gift doesn’t depend on the price. It depends on the contract with the giver and the giver’s interests. What contract does the president have donating or giving gift to National Assembly members with vehicles outside of due process? It’s patronage.
A parent has a different relationship with a child. A parent is expected by society to provide for the child, but is also supposed to be in a selfless relationship called love.

To equate political patronage with parenthood is a corruption of parenthood with very serious implications.
Some of us must think very seriously about what we’re saying. We’re on a very slippery slope when we equate President Barrow’s gift to that of a parent. If we say relationships and interests of gift givers don’t matter, we’re essentially saying that kids should accept gifts from drug dealers and sugar daddies because those are behaving as parents, since their motives and interests don’t count.
And mark you, most of the people who are in denial, and are criticizing what I didn’t say, are from areas where they whine about the boy child or girl child being neglected. They have completely missed my point about what this act of giving a car means for grown up law-makers of men and women.

What happens to the young men and women who cannot catch the president’s eye and receive a car? How will they be men and women of substance in society? They will either drink cheap alcohol, prostitution or go into crime. And then we’ll all be told that every taxpayer is responsible for the crisis of masculinity in our political parties, a crisis for which its own supporters are still refusing to take responsibility.
We need to understand that wealth and power cannot buy you integrity, a brain or dignity. Esau discovered the hard way that they can’t. Birthrights and the sweat of your work, not gifts, are priceless.

Alagi Yorro Jallow
New York

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