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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Letters to the Editor

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Resignation of Mr Musa Suso

Dear editor,

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I was shocked when I saw the headline ”Musa Suso resigns” in the Standard Newspaper issue of Friday, 9th February 2018. Why the shock one may be compelled to ask? I certainly do not know Mr. Suso and to the best of my recollection, never shared a platform with him. Yes, I have very fond memories of my visits during high school days to one of the most prominent families in Sukuta through my close friendship with one of the late Clarke Bajo’s sons. However, before Mr. Suso became the NAM for Kombo North, I had already left the country to pursue further studies in Canada. Therefore, I am not competent to comment on the matter that led to his imprisonment. It is very rare though for political officials in Africa in general and The Gambia in particular, to resign on their own accord despite clamour for that from the public. Criticisms were leveled against certain appointees in both the past and the current regimes couple with calls for resignation of the appointees in question but at the end of the day, nothing came out of it.

Therefore, for Mr. Suso to resign from his position as a presidential adviser on youth matters is an honourable and refreshing thing. I am a keen follower of political events in the country but I cannot recall a similar incident since I returned home over a decade ago. The bar has been set now and any public official either accused of malfeasance or deemed unworthy of his or her appointment may have to heed to such criticism and resign. That said, we should avoid trying to bring down people simply because we either disagree or have personal vendetta against them. Some critics of the government might look at the brouhaha surrounding his appointment and label the government as being out of touch but that is not necessarily the case. In any sphere of life, mistakes are bound to be made and we have to accept that.

I can recall watching one former American president on CNN years ago talking about his experience in the White House. He said that in his first weeks in office, he was saying to himself ”what have I gotten myself into”? This was someone who was a Law Professor and had earlier served over six years as a state governor prior to his election as president.

Leading a nation is an awesome responsibility that comes with a huge burden. I have observed that not a singular day passes when there is no expert advice being dished out to the new government from all angles as to how things ought to be done. Fair play to all for their opinions. However, I would like to caution that we exercise patience and more importantly, conduct ourselves in a mature and dignified manner. Some of the comments being made by certain individuals are not helpful because they are bound to sow seeds of discord in our body polity in particular and the country in general.
Thank you for granting me the opportunity to put my points across.

 

Paul C. Mendy
Latri-Kunda Sabiji

Re: “Disband Barrow movement and foundation”

Dear editor,

A Barrow youth movement and a Barrow foundation are conduit to maladministration. We voice opposition to it and must explore our political means to stop it. As Jobarteh rightly and poignantly underscored, there cannot be any other affairs a sitting president should be preoccupied with other than the furtherance of the state’s interest enshrined in duties laid down by law and spirit of the office of the presidency.

The Gambian people are already expensively compensating the president and his family for his service to the nation. President Barrow needs to honor this privilege and concentrate his energy on the daunting tasks facing the country. Families are going to bed without food; health facilities and /or treatment are beyond the means of many families in the country; countless youths lack prospect for jobs to earn a respectable living. These and many other challenges face the country. Therefore, it is unacceptable for a sitting president to waste time and state resources on affairs that immensely corrode the effectiveness expected of him to tackle the issues for which he was elected to office.

Our political parties, foremostly the UDP must be expected to weigh-in and ensure that the president adheres to the mandate on which he was elected: the furtherance of Gambia’s interest and total integrity. Nothing else!

Kemo Kinteh
Banjul

Re: “Barrow launches national development plan”

Dear editor,

“The NDP will ensure that all citizens enjoy a high standard of living and access to health, education, food, quality basic services and housing is guaranteed to allow citizens to lead decent and dignified lives; women and youth realize their full potential; a caring and nurturing environment exists for children, persons with disability and the elderly.”

It’s hard to take seriously a government which makes these kinds of impossible promises when it cannot even manage to deliver reliable electricity and running water to its citizens who can afford to pay for the service, let alone those who cannot.
Do the ministers have any idea what it is like having no water all day long, having to get up at 5am to fill buckets for the day? Do the minsters have any idea what it is like not knowing from one minute to the next if the electricity will be on or off?
I somehow suspect not.

Mark Williams
Kanifing

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