#Editorial

Good Morning Mr. President:  Let’s bury the hatchet and work for our nation

May 9, 2022, 11:04 AM

Mr. President, many Gambians both within and outside the Gambia have welcomed your appointees in the new cabinet with ethnic balance and high caliber people who will help in reinforcing the team of your cabinet.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment and Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy are yet to be filled and we strongly advise that you consider women for those positions.

Women are leaders in the political scene with about 57% of voters registered but have only three women in your present cabinet while you had 4 in the previous cabinet.

Mr. President, it's time to bury the hatchet and call for national reconciliation and start working on pressing issues, especially the high cost of living, public transport, erratic electricity and discipline in the civil service.

Social Security should be supported to enable them facilitate the allocation of lands to civil servants as before.

Mr. President, it is not healthy for you to be responding or threatening your critics.

Gambian democracy is being abused, thereby threatening our nascent democracy, some insulting or accusing people through social media without justification and such shouldn't be accepted and those found wanting should face the law.

As a democrat, you should accept criticism which can guide you. Do not listen to people who tell you that everything is ok when in reality nothing is moving in the right direction.

Mr. President, The Gambia has made a significant progress in press freedom from 85th position last year to 50th in the world and 8th in Africa this year.
Last year Gambia was 9th In Africa. The government should do more for the media by reducing taxes and giving newspapers subvention, abolish the draconian media laws, and try to settle bills of their adverts and subscriptions in time. The Gambia made this progress because the Barrow government gave an enabling atmosphere for journalists to work without hindrance and created communication units in different ministries to facilitate access to information. Both the government spokesman and former minister of Information clarified government positions on issues.  Gambia was among the last five countries in Africa during ex-president Yahya Jammeh's reign who killed, arrested and burnt houses of journalists. This resulted in many journalists fleeing the country. Senegal is ranked 73rd in the world. Last year they were 49th. The Senegalese government allocates 64.5 million dalasis per annum as subvention plus two years zero tax from 2020-2022. 

Your government's priorities are basic commodities should be affordable, reliable electricity and water, internet services and good roads with feeder roads, fight crime and abolish airport tax which all travellers are complaining about .

A commission of inquiry should be set up to investigate all corruption allegations.

All government tenders should be advertised in the main newspapers and approved by GPPA, because many businessmen accuse your government of not being transparent in tenders for contracts; and favouritism should always be avoided.

Finally Mr. President, we welcome the initiative of Lawyer Ousainou Darboe, the main opposition UDP leader for suggesting that you should invite your political opponents to have dialogue to embrace unity.

The sooner the better. We pray and need peace and unity to enable us to achieve our goals for our beloved country. 

Good day!

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