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GOOD MORNING MR. PRESIDENT: Basse market fire incident

Mar 2, 2020, 12:22 PM

Mr. President, since Saturday you have been in URR and CRR to inaugurate some valuable projects which are very timely.

We hope that you have the other regions in mind too to implement such projects.

Mr. President,The Gambia is hosting the OIC summit in 2022, which is attracting some investments and development projects by the Arab world, it will be a good time for your government to take the opportunity to decentralise some of these projects to other parts of country.

The problem of NAWEC should be your number one priority to deal with as hosting such a big event without electricity will be disastrous. Infrastructural developments, good road networks and water; to name a few should also be on your agenda.

Mr. President, we join the whole country in sympatising with the victims of the Basse fire incident which occurred early last week. Fire incidents have recently been rampant in the country which should be a concern now.

Your government should work hand-in-glove with the fire service department to make sure that they get enough equipment to be able to respond to such incidences and on time.

There should also be proper planning and allocation of stalls when building markets to avoid overcrowding which makes it very difficult for the fire tenders to pass through during such disasters.

Mr. President, we welcome the good gestures of yours; giving D2 million, D400,000 from Ousainou Darboe of UDP and D200,000 from Mama Kandeh of GDC and many more individual donations made to the victims. More of such donations are needed and we appeal to companies, organisations, philanthropists and individuals to come forward and support the victims.

Mr. President, your government should also intervene soonest to rebuild the Basse market as the market also contributed to the economy.

The location of the market is very strategic as some neighbouring countries like Senegal and Guinea Conakry do come there for their shopping.

Mr. President, anytime there is a fire incident, NAWEC is given part of the blame for the electric connections. This is why it’s very important that NAWEC officials embark on a tour to all the markets in the country and check on the electric connections and change the old ones.

There are lots of illegal connections in the markets too and all culprits should be reprimanded and charged to court to put a stop to such practices.

Mr. President, we commend your government for dropping the charges against four journalists who were charged with incitement and also reopening their radio stations.

It’s good move but such should not occur again as arresting and charging of journalists or closing down of media houses is bad for our democracy and efforts made towards attaining press freedom in the country.

Journalists on the other hand should be very responsible and make sure that they always subscribe to professionalism and boost the etiquette of the profession.

Mr. President, we are still appealing to you to pardon and drop the charges of the 8 executive members of the pressure group 3 Years Jotna in the name of peace and national reconciliation.

Finally Mr. President, many Gambians have expressed their dismay over the war of words between imams: Bakawsu Fofana and Abdoulie Fatty.

The minister of Religious Affairs and your adviser on religious affairs should mediate between Imam Bakawsu Fofana and Imam Abdoulie Fatty to reunite them for the sake of peace and Islam. This is not good for the image of the religion. They should meet to settle their differences and open a new page.

Religious leaders should show good example for people to emulate and not engage in verbal fighting.

Good day!