Sep 18, 2020, 10:39 AM
The outbreak of coronavirus or simply COVID-19 has disrupted the global economies and The Gambia is not an exception.
Mr. President, The Gambia National team, Gambia 11 was renamed Scorpions on the 11 February 1985 following a vigorous campaign on change of name by journalists Tijan Mansaneh Ceesay and Pap Saine.
The Gambia first participated in the preliminary rounds of the AFCON in 1975 against Morocco, who defeated Gambia 3-0 in both home and return leg matches.
Mr. President, the AFCON tournament started in 1957 with Gambia making 14 attempts and now succeeding for the first time, after withdrawing twice in 1996 and 2000 respectively because of financial constraints.
The Gambian team has also ben suspended twice by FiFA and CAF.
Mr. President, as the chief patron of the Gambia Football Federation and father of the nation, we commend your government for providing chartered flights for the first time in the history of football in ferrying the players from Europe to the Gambia and to other countries they played. So we give credit where it’s due.
Mr. President, to achieve good results in the coming AFCON, Government should continue to support the national team and call on the business community to join the crusade. Football is no longer leisure but investment which can bring foreign exchange like Brazil is enjoying now.
Gambians should put aside their political differences and support the team morally and financially.
Bank accounts should be created so that anyone who wants to contribute and support the players can do it easily and transparently.
Mr. President, we congratulate the coach, technical staff, GFF President Lamin Kaba Bajo and the entire management and staff of GFF for a job well done which Gambians are still celebrating.
The private sector and philanthropists should all come on board as more resources should be provided for the preparation of the team.
The team needs to have more friendly matches with top African teams. The boys should also be given more incentives to activate them.
Mr. President, another burning issue is that the police should deal with is the fake D200 notes in circulation. Foreigners in town involved in cyber attack and robbery should be arrested as two banks have become victims.
Every citizen residing in the country should be very vigilant and report any suspected activities around their communities.
There should also be sensitisation programmes on our TVs to show the population the difference between the fake notes and the real ones.
Mr. President, we are calling on the Central Bank to be vigilant in the protection of the national currency and the police to mount serious investigations into the circulation of fake currencies and to severely deal with such criminals in the society. People must be protected with their businesses. There are also foreigners hacking into some bank accounts and stealing funds. Within the past six months, two local banks have been affected.
Mr. President, to deal with the current crime wave in the country, the government with the Interior Ministry in particular should set up a special Operation Support Division(OSD) with well trained, well equipped, well discipline and well informed police with an uncompromising leader to deal with all sorts of crimes throughout the country.
We need a force that cannot be compromised by anyone whether business tycoon or authority in doing their work. This should be quickly put together and visible in society.
The Ministry of Interior should ensure that this new department is given proper and fitting incentives and good salaries, and rapid response vehicles to combat crimes effectively.
Mr. President, donors can be approached to set up and fund this new department of police with free telephone toll numbers for the public to report suspected crimes in their areas.
Economic and social crimes do tear the fabric of society and tarnish the image of the country. This is especially important in a country where tourism is a major player.
Finally Mr. President, both the immigration and the police should work together to eliminate the lapses, which people are blaming them for and monitor those foreigners who print fake monies and engage in cyber attacks on banks.
Just 6 months ago, the novel coronavirus now known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and COVID-19, the severe disease it causes, were unheard of.