Some of us are not in the business of deliberately, incessantly and maliciously attacking our new government on every trivial issue just to maintain my “cyber warrior” status or to reinvent relevance since our common enemy, Yahya Jammeh, was given his matching orders.
That said, I would like to ask some critical questions. It is a common knowledge that the government of President Adama Barrow comprises Coalition stakeholders and as such many of them have taken over cabinet positions. Since Cabinet meeting was conducted only once in the first 100 days of the administration, how are some of the most important decisions made? When and how does cabinet advise the President? How involved are the Coalition stakeholders (cabinet members) in the economic, social and foreign policy decisions of the administration?
And since cabinet meeting took place once before the beginning of the new National Assembly term and nothing after yet, how effective and timely is the cabinet going to discuss and/or respond to some of the issues raised by NAMs with regard to constituents they represent?
I am sure the government is working but working is different from being effective/efficient. Holding only one cabinet meeting in 100 days given the extensive damage the government inherited is not a fairly good sign of efficiency. Hoping to see more collaborative and consultative decision making.
Zakaria Kemo Conteh
There should be law and order
Even the recalcitrant dictator, Yahya Jammeh advised Adama Barrow about the indispensability of peace and security when he made his sham concession telephone call to him.
This means that everyone who knows anything about governance knows that a government cannot succeed if peace is absent. And the president, being the consummate statesman he is, knows very well the value of peace and security.
But peace, it is said, is not the absence of violence but the presence of justice. So, even if we have a semblance of peace, if there is no law and order, it will just be that: a semblance. The country is currently enjoying relative peace but there is still some element of insecurity in the minds of the ordinary people.
Some people have suggested that the seeming lack of security is as a result of the erroneous view of some individuals that when the previous government was toppled, so was law and order. In other words, the change of government has created a sort of vacuum in the security of the country.
The Kanilai incident, the Bakau youth – Drug Squad standoff, the killing of an innocent man in Brikama, the robbery of a financial institution in Churchill’s Town, the saturation of banned plastic bags in the market and a host of other incidents all suggest that the people have a certain daring-do attitude towards the new government.
Knowing that no development can take place in the absence of peace and security, now is the time to make a firm stance towards this vital commodity – peace. Otherwise, we may reach a stage whereat people do whatever they please without worrying.
This will be dangerous and I think the president should nip this sense of insecurity in the bud. The public has to be made to understand that the laws of the land are here to stay regardless of which government is in power.
This is what is required now. So, whether the president chooses to address this personally or uses one of his able ministers, one thing is certain; it is urgent!
Why I don’t celebrate May Day
Since 2000 when I got my first job, I have deliberately boycotted workers day or May Day celebrations, especially the usual sports jamboree.
It was a personal decision for I believe the day is set aside to reflect on the challenges of workers all over the world. On this day union leaders are expected to mobilize workers to request pay rise, better working conditions/welfare and most importantly, demand to be treated with respect and fairness by employers.
But so unfortunate that in The Gambia workers are being taken for a ride by government and employers in the form of a day parade and sports, when the day could have been better spent taking stock of the previous year petition handed to the Minister of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment.
What is there to celebrate when;
The average Gambian worker receives less than D1,500 when a bag of rice is costing D1,400?
When a Gambian worker in a supermarket, restaurant or hotels are paid equal to the daily allowance of an expatriate. When most of the job is being done by the Gambian?
When a retired worker receives less than D300 as retirement benefits, while SSHFC is investing millions of Dalasis of the worker’s contributions in Banks, hotels and very sadly into housing scheme when those that contributed the funds are struggling for decent housing?
When senior government officials are allocated minimum one official car and two utility vehicles, when the average worker struggles for transportation to work.
When PAYE TAX rate is between 35-32%, while government officials are being paid fat cheques as travel allowances.
When workers are fired from their jobs any how and nothing comes of it, treated with disrespect by expatriate of the same institutions they work for just because they are the decision makers.
When a Gambian manager in a multinational company needs approval from expatriates for any decision that falls under his/her purview.
This and a whole lot more reasons had made me deliberately refuse to celebrate Worker’s Day (May Day), and until a majority of such issues are solved, I see no reason why Gambian workers must celebrate worker’s day in a form of sports competition between institutions.