GOOD MORNING MR PRESIDENT: Corruption is a cancer

Monday, June 18, 2018

Mr. President, the Janneh Commission probing alleged financial impropriety of your predecessor has so far revealed a lot about Gambia’s cancer of corruption and administrative malfeasance at the highest echelon of society.

Fixing corruption is not easy especially, in situations where the perpetrators are supposed to be the prosecutors of alleged crimes as the Janneh Commission continues to unravel. This malignancy remains deeply rooted in Gambian society and your government must leave no stone unturned in dealing with corruption a lethal blow.

Two weeks ago The Point published an investigative lead story detailing the abuse and misuse of funds donated to the disaster victims of Kuntaur following the devastating floods of last summer. More troubling though is the allegation leveled against community leaders for diverting the D150,000.00 to fence a village Youth Centre when the flood victims continue to live in makeshift shelters, too weak to withstand future rains.

Therefore, we urge your government to intervene immediately, investigate the alleged misuse of all the donation monies and bring all the culprits to book regardless of their social status or political clout; labels which all too often, immunize culprits from criminal prosecution regardless of the scale of their crimes. The poor flood victims of Kuntaur are desperately looking for help because their local leaders have woefully failed them and their only hope is President Barrow and his government before the summer hits them again.

Finally, Mr. President, your trip to Saudi Arabia. As The Gambia is poised to host the upcoming OIC summit, we wish to share some concerns regarding the complex logistics of such a high profile gathering that brings together the high and mighty within the Islamic Ummah.

The sporadic supply of electricity within the Greater Banjul area and the urban centres must be normalised now lest it significantly sabotages the summit. The telecommunications should be improved specially the internet service.

Your partners in Saudi should be educated about the limited infrastructural developments in The Gambia and how they could help alleviate this sorry state of affairs. The general decrepitude of the roads in major parts of Banjul , the Western Region, the Kanifing Municipality, the Senegambia area, the poorly lit streets, the absence of traffic lights and signposts pose a nightmare to many a motorists.

These factors are critical in the successful hosting of the OIC as they also directly affect the security of some 57 foreign dignitaries among them Kings, Princes, Heads of state and governments. Therefore, the fixing and maintenance of all these facilities well ahead of time is imperative.

You should not therefore, stop in Saudi Arabia to drum up support for the financing of key projects towards the realisation of the OIC Gambia Summit November 2019.

Good Day!