By Omar Bah
The outgoing PDOIS leader Halifa Sallah has announced that the party’s retiring senior executive members will serve in an advisory board to ensure the continuity of institutional memory in the party.
Addressing journalists yesterday at a press conference organised to discuss the party’s weekend congress, Sallah said the party has proposed to set up a consultative and advisory committee that will consist of experienced people who have worked for the party and are no longer serving as members of the central committee.
“Such a committees would consist of example experts who for example would have looked at the Senegambia Bridge and fed the government and the public with the right information. We are also trying to set up an expert bank, and the constitutional review committee will come up with the name. It will be responsible for looking at all these sectors in the country and making proposals as to how we can improve in all those areas. This is PDOIS preparing for change in our lifetime,” he said.
Sallah said PDOIS has concluded that it should do more membership and citizenship training.
“That is why, in one of our resolutions, we agreed that if PDOIS is to move forward, we should make sure that our members will have their membership cards, be registered in their villages and we should set up village, ward, constituency, and regional branches so that power will be in their hands,” he said.
This, he added, will help the party meet people in their villages to educate and sensitise them.
“We have accepted that, as far as the party is concerned, it has ideas different from all the other forces. We have seen that, and we should speak that language. We have decided to set up a constitutional review committee to expand the province of the constitution to take on board people’s proposals,” he said.
He said the party will examine the state of affairs in the country to be able to know what is needed to put it on the right footing.
On the worrying state of the Gambia’s ferries, Sallah said the ferry services are in shambles, and any government that thoroughly has the national interest at heart would have look at the ferries as an institution and examine how “you can transform it into a management service so that it would manage the bridges and ensure that they are productive.
He said the first task of the minister of finance should have been to initiate a performance audit of the Senegambia Bridge to find out how much it could generate, the challenges, and what other input would be needed to make it more profitable.
“That performance audit would have given the government sufficient information to be able to know what to do next. That was not done. Everything that has been said now is merely speculation; you can give us documents, but who knows the accuracy of the documents? It is so essential that without that performance audit, no other information given can be considered to be fully valid,” he said.