#Article (Archive)

The new cabinet

Feb 13, 2012, 12:12 PM

Today they come, tomorrow they go, it all has the dynamics of abrogation. The more you look, the less you see. In recent times, the Jammeh administration has seen more cabinet ministers come and go.

It was the likes of Yankuba Touray, Edward Singhateh, Nai Ceesay, Ismaila Sambou and so on, but now it is the turn of long-time ruling APRC critic Lamin Waa Juwara, Justice Lamin Jobarteh, Fatou Gaye, Alieu Jammeh, among others, who are members of the new Cabinet.

Please sirs and madams! Accept our hearty congratulations on your appointment as ministers of the new Cabinet that has been formed as part of President Yahya Jammeh’s fourth term of office as President of the Republic of The Gambia.

We rejoice with you, most of whom are on a familiar terrain having served in previous Cabinets for the past several years.

Ever since the Jammeh administration came into being, ministers have been coming and going in the Cabinet. Is it that most of them haven’t been doing well enough?

While we welcome and congratulate members of the newly-appointed Cabinet on their appointment out of a population of over 1.5 million Gambians, we would like to remind them of the challenges that lie ahead.

Governance at any level is, no doubt, a demanding business, as it requires integrity, energy and resourcefulness.

We have always emphasized on this page that anyone who does not feel up to a particular job, should have the good sense to refuse it, when it is offered him or her.

To give the impression of competence, when you do not have what it takes to deliver good results, is to court disgrace and stigma.

As you settle down in your respective posts, we remind you of the need to nurture discipline in your various workplaces, and the civil service in general.

This to us is of paramount importance, because we believe that we can never achieve our development aspirations without a disciplined workforce.

Without a disciplined workforce, the Vision 2020 blueprint and all other set targets that we always talk about in this country, such as the new PAGE, can never be realized.

We all know the challenges confronting the ordinary Gambian in the street, key among them is unemployment among the youthful population.

The average Gambian craves for a government that will create the enabling environment for their prosperity.

They want to have food regularly on the table; they want to pay their children’s school fees without tears; they want to see the tap water running 24 hours non-stop; and they want to be sure that any time they flick on the switch, there is electricity, whether at the office or workshop or in their homes.

A government that can do all these, and much more for the populace, will enjoy their unalloyed loyalty.

Gambians want a creative and results-oriented government consisting of cabinet ministers who will always be in positions to create entirely new paradigms for the country’s development.

It is evident that if sound economic structures are put in place, our youth will not need to risk life and limb to cross treacherous seas to seek greener pastures in Europe.

Gambians want to see the National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC) revamped so that it can spur the general development of The Gambia. As journalists, we are also concerned about the environment in which we operate. Journalists are generally perceived as troublemakers. It is through our activities that the world gets to know what is happening, where, why and by whom.

We keep the world going by providing truthful information. Because the truth is sometimes difficult to swallow, those who at times engage in dubious deals brand us as troublemakers or even enemies. We journalists love this country  like every other serious-minded citizen does.

To be sure, there would be chaos around the world without journalists, as people wouldn’t know what is happening next door. And what do we get in most instances for our efforts? Arrests, arbitrary detention, closure of newspapers and broadcasting stations, harassment and even assassinations.

Regarding assassinations, we’re appalled that investigations into the cold-blood murder of our very own Deyda Hydara seem to have stalled.

The killers of this innocent son of the land should not be left to get away with it, the impression that The Gambia is a lawless country where the gun rules. It should be thoroughly investigated.

“Truth exists; only lies are invented.”

Georges Braque