By Omar Bah The leader of the Gambia Moral Congress, Mai Fatty, has warned that the political class must radically change their attitude towards national development, adding that the current political bickering could distract the nation from pursuing the implementation of the National Development Plan, NDP. “If we are serious about collective progress, the political class must lead by example. We cannot morally demand attitudinal change from the polity, if we are found wanting in that respect. We must recoil from the concentration on building personal political empires and build economic security for our people,” Fatty told The Standard in an exclusive interview yesterday. The former interior minister said no one expected this change to create instant miracles, “however, our citizens certainly expect us to focus on the mandate of change to transform our institutions to deliver better and to change their lot. They expect us to continue to work together and focus on the business of public service.” “Our citizens demand political maturity from the political class, and they require us to use politics as a means of unity and prosperity and not as a source of division, acrimony and hostility. They expect us to utilise our respective numerical superiority and intellectual creativity to resolve the endemic cycle of poverty, unemployment, poor healthcare, the decadent educational system among others,” Fatty added. He further reminded his fellow politicians that the country needs them to implement the NDP under circumstances that would empower all players in the political equation to compete on quality service delivery and performance, as well as facilitate in the consolidation of a democratic culture of tolerance, homogeneity, team-work and fair play. “If we work as a team, the NDP will be child’s play. If we inhibit and resist each other, the entire nation stands to lose, and every Gambian would be a casualty, including the political class. If we support our government on the NDP, we all stand to gain. We are all in it together, we will all be impacted by whatever economy we build,” he stressed. Fatty said the political class must remember that they are faced with a moral challenge, adding that the world has invested its confidence in the country’s NDP with a whopping $1.7 billion. “The world has further committed to write-off 620.13 million Dollars of that amount as grant. The question now is, how much are we willing to add unto this investment ourselves? We have demonstrated to the world on paper how we intend to use this investment on behalf of our citizens. This dual contract we signed with the world and with our citizens must be performed. For our citizens, the pledge must be liquidated with transparency, and be translated into visible economic development,” he noted. Fatty said developing one’s partisan politics is not antithesis to national development, saying he does not subscribe to the view that if one intends to grow his/her partisan influence, “then you are disloyal to the national development agenda. It is possible to dissect the two, place them in different compartments and yet get the job of national development done.” “What is inimical is to use partisan politics as a vehicle to subjugate national interests so as to subdue, to acquire unrestrained dominance. Politics is not bad or evil. It is the politician whose bad or evil conduct in the practice of politics that would colour the practical manifestation of politics,” he argued. “Therefore, as we queue behind our different party colours in times of partisan political activities, let us all stand behind our national flag for the full implementation of the NDP. For me, I represent my party’s RED, and I stand beside the President on the national development agenda. National development knows no colour, no gender and no ideology,” he said.]]>