GOOD MORNING PRESIDENT BARROW

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Change is here at last. Actually, what has really changed? The most noticeable is the freedom of speech and assembly. Goloh is also replaced by Barrow. So did the cabinet too. The rest is just as Goloh left it, the instructions, institutions and practices. I do not need to belabour myself to ascertain my claim. Amadou Colley, former Governor of Central Bank is a clear manifestation. He told the BBC when asked why he was relieved off his duty, “We received our letters today without giving us any reason for our sacking, only stating ‘Your services have been terminated with immediate effect'”. Very Jammeh like. Albeit no one is testing the validity of his relief, many disputed the procedure particularly of not informing him the reason of his dismissal.

 

As such, Eden Sharp, stated thus: “The idea of just telling someone, ‘you’ve been relieved of your duties’ without giving reasons like Yahya Jammeh used to do is wrong. Let the new government understand that we are no longer in a dictatorship and as such democratic practices must be made the order of the day. And let no one say it’s minor, a mountain is made up of small stones.” This autocratic practice is not the change we yarn for. Similarly, you change recycles old wines in new bottles in key government postings which has not helped to foster the desired change. Worst of all, some enablers of the dictatorship are still collecting fat paychecks on the sweat of the oppressed taxpayers. President Barrow, that is neither the change we fought for nor the one you promised us.

 
Corruption and blatant abdication of duty are still trendy under your leadership. What is even more disturbing is the criminals shamelessly mash it on their victims faces by bragging “Nothing will come out of it” as it they are the embodiment of omnipotent. The Bakau Police Station handling of Rambo Jatta’s assault on two vulnerable women is an ample example. The allegations levelled on the police is serious and unsettling. How do you expect civilian to respect and trust the police when they openly bin dispensation of duty for an old fashion TV set, Mr President? Here again I will reference Eden Sharp, “We tend to associate evil along the lines of some great chilling events, but no, evil prevails in our society through seemingly inconsequential events that slowly deaden our moral senses. The day we hold each other accountable for our various roles in allowing or helping injustice destroy our country is the day we will begin our journey proper towards a better Gambia for all of us.” The dude is on point Mr President. Hon Mai Ahmad Fatty has to appreciate mere rhetorics alone cannot drive the change he keeps drumming for the security concerns. He must set precedence with the Bakau Police Station officers from the Station Officer down to the constable that no Gambian is above the law. Moreover, all are equal and deserve equal opportunity to fair treatment.

 
If it is not NAWEC, it will be the Police or the Ferry. How long shall this go on Mr President? No one is saying don’t count your steps but sometimes urgency requires skipping the count and walking the walk. Some of these issues that we brush aside as insignificant come back to cause lasting damages to progress and your leadership competence.

 
Yes accountability, transparency and probity. Great pillars of good governance. We muster them a lot but hardly live them. Your declaration of assets. What is delaying it? Please don’t say you counting your steps first, Mr President? Lot of water is passing under the bridge and we looking the other side but whenever it floods, some heads will duck in the sand.

Sulayman Jeng
Birmingham, UK

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