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City of Banjul
Saturday, November 28, 2020

Letters to the Editor

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The threat of organized labour to national security

Dear editor,

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The general scheme of things both in the public and private spheres does not appear clear-cut or linear as many pundits make us believe. On the contrary, “The Gambia we want” utopia is emerging in the fashion of the geometry of a spider’s web. Everyone is giving full vent to their interests without noticeable regard for the overall national good. This hypothesis brings to mind the recent past spate of sit-in strikes both in the public and private service delivery sectors.
A not-so-significant proportion of the work force in The Gambia belongs to trade unions; doctors, nurses and midwives, teachers, drivers and a few unionised workers in the public enterprises. Granted, the main aims of trade unions, also known as “organised labour” are to make demands or negotiate with employers on behalf of their members in an attempt to secure better wages and working conditions for their members. Furthermore, where they exist, the power of organised labour is greater than that of the employers both in government and the private sector, especially when the unions either individually or as a federation subscribe to the leaning of a particular political party.

From their power to leverage pedestal, unions have been known in some cases to make or take excessive demands and actions which have seriously damaged the operational integrity of businesses, put a halt to entire public service delivery systems and in more cases than one, brought down governments. Relatively though, it is materially important to point out here that the trade unions in The Gambia pale into insignificance compared to those in Senegal, South Africa and Great Britain.
Within the context of the foregoing, the threat of organised labour to national security stems from the ability of organised labour to disrupt the operations of a whole public enterprise, a whole industry or public service delivery system, thereby causing great inconvenience, harm to the generality of the population, and destabilised economic activity.

 

Retired Captain Joseph P Jassey
Founder and executive consultant
West Atlantic Consultancy
(A security risk assessment and management consultancy)

The French Trojan horse in The Gambia

Dear editor,

The intentions of the Senegalese government in The Gambia are gradually becoming apparent. It has never been the intention of Dakar to leave The Gambia as a sovereign country since the removal of Jammeh. Some of us have been warning about the ulterior intentions of the Senegalese and the French in The Gambia from day one. My concerns were dismissed by some rookies as hating Senegal and the rest of the nonsense.
The concerns I have been raising for almost a year about the geopolitics of France and its little dog Dakar in The Gambia sadly, is now coming to pass. Someone foolishly asked me then if I were a security expert when I intimidated that the size and numbers of The Gambia Armed Forces should be reduced to facilitate the timely withdrawal of the Senegalese troops from The Gambia.

Two years on, that’s the same conclusion arrived at by the so-called security experts. It was clear to me that the Senegalese have their own fish to fry in The Gambia; well, French fries. Anyone remembered the bogus national security threat warnings that were issued against The Gambia in the early days of the aftermath of the removal of Jammeh? Does anyone figure out why the reforms to the security services of The Gambia particularly the army is being delayed?
The first multi-million dollar project of the Barrow government has been to build a bridge at Yelli Tenda-Bamba Tenda [crossing] which is not the most pressing socioeconomic development need of The Gambia. And now the bombshell revelation of The Gambia having to join the Francophone bloc of countries. What next, adopt the CFA? What a stupid idea.

From day one, It’s clear to anyone who understands anything about international politics, finance and economics that The Gambia should stick to its coalition agreement for a political transition within three years to facilitate the withdrawal of the Senegalese troops from The Gambia.
The Gambia Armed Forces is not a threat to the national security of The Gambia. But some rookie experts were banging on about how they cannot trust The Gambia Armed Forces and that the country was divided. It’s obvious now that all these dimwit propaganda was coming from Dakar. I’ve raised the alarm of The Gambia risked becoming the next Guinea Bissau because of the Casamance problem. That the Casamance problem is not a Gambian problem. That The Gambia should only be a peaceful mediator and urge the Dakar government to pursue a diplomatic solution to the political problem in Casamance.

But the Senegalese are going full throttle with their “occupation” of The Gambia by telling President Barrow to join the Francophone bloc, adopt CFA Franc inevitably and become an economic colony of France under the shadow of Senegal. Why should The Gambia join the Francophone bloc of countries?
Where’s the leadership of Barrow and Darboe in standing up for the national interest of The Gambia? It’s not in the national interest of The Gambia to become another French economic colony in Africa. The Gambia should never abandon the use of the dalasi for the CFA franc. The Gambia Government should maintain its independent capacity to issue its own treasury bonds to finance government expenditures however limited that maybe in scope and size.

There’s no point for The Gambia to be under the political, financial and economic influence of Senegal and France. I hope that the National Assembly will ask the government to directly ask the Gambian people in a referendum about the stupid idea of joining the Francophone bloc of nations. What has become crystal clear to any Gambian who is not in denial is the fact that President Barrow doesn’t have the capacity to lead The Gambia and to represent our national interest.
Gambians should join hands and urge the National Assembly to uphold the coalition agreement and let President Barrow step down after three years. Darboe, the so-called Mandela of Gambian politics has proven to be the dimmest political leader ever in the history of Gambian politics; a political leader who doesn’t understand anything about politics and economics; a political leader who always looks scruffy and sleepy drooling out incoherence that makes no sense to any sensible person. He’s a disgrace.

Barrow and Darboe are inadvertently selling off The Gambia to Senegal without even realising what is going on? The issue about whether The Gambia should join the Francophone bloc is too important to be decided only by the National Assembly. The government doesn’t have any mandate to enter The Gambia into anything like the Senegalese and the French are orchestrating against The Gambia.

Let’s uphold the coalition agreement and get Barrow out of the State House before he finally sell off The Gambia to Senegal. The Gambia should reject any idea of joining the Francophone bloc. It’s not in our national interest. Get the Senegalese troops out of The Gambia asap. The feckless and clueless leadership of Barrow and Darboe is the threat to the national security of The Gambia. The Gambia is blessed to have oil and gas in its waters and China is offering no strings attached loans to any country that is interested, why would The Gambia want to join the Francophone bloc?

Yusupha ‘Major’ Bojang
Brikama

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