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NAM counters president saying there will be no OIC summit at year’s end

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By Olimatou Coker & Aminata Kuyateh

While delivering his State of the Nation Address on Thursday, President Barrow expressed his hope of The Gambia hosting the OIC summit in December.

But the UDP National Assembly Member for Kiang West, said hosting the summit in six months in The Gambia is a pipe dream and that the president should “stop giving empty promises to Gambians”. 

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NAM Lamin Ceesay told The Standard that the country “has no chance” of hosting the summit of heads of state and government in December.

“How can you host the summit when the road constructions are far from done? We were made to believe that the roads will be near completion by May but we have not seen any signs that would happen before December. So, the president should stop making claims that he knows are impossible to achieve,” he said.

Ceesay said the president’s rhetoric clearly demonstrates that he “is exposing his government’s inability to deliver its promises” to Gambians.

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“The manner in which the government is handling its projects is bizarre and because of that we have no, or a very slim chance of even hosting the summit in the next two years,” he said sceptically.

Ceesay said the president should have dealt with “more important and basic issues” such as the Consumer Protection Act that would address the issue of commodity prices.

 “There has to be a mechanism of control to ensure that consumers are not left at the mercy of foreign businessmen,” he said.

Ceesay said the financial policy the president “is admitting to address” is important but that the government “has not done a good job in managing the fiscal policy”.

“They consistently blame the Russia-Ukraine war for our predicament but if you travel across the world, you don’t hear other countries complaining about the Russia-Ukraine war for every woe. Why is The Gambia complaining about Russia-Ukraine and Covid-19? I think our major problem is corruption because I believe if you assess the amount of corruption in this country, its impact is killing more people compared to the war in Ukraine or covid-19,” the Kiang West representative concluded.

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