Did you notice too? The reincarnation of psuedo and “undocumented” profiles on Gambian social media, Facebook. Lu nyoye nyot di say hat? Apart from the few self-anointed cyber Barrow ADCs who draw their double-edged daggers to slit the throats of your sceptics with repelling profanities, Gambians can now freely express their views without ducking behind flicking shadows. We must not recreate that climate of fear to hold our leaders accountable. Until we recognise that democracy is not superficial but driven by power vested on the people, we will continue to perceive our political leadership as demi gods. Our duty is to fortify participatory governance where both leaders and people see one another as partners in nation and state development. Here we are reminded by Myles Monroe, “People generally fall into one of three groups: The few who make things happen, the many who watch things happen and the overwhelming majority who have no notion of what happens. Every person is either a creator of facts or a creator of circumstance. He either puts colour into his environment or takes colour like a chameleon from his environment”. Each of us must be one of those who make things happen by adding colour to our society.
Underlining the Gunjur beach concerns, Mr President, Mr Madi Jobarteh warned, “A severe national security threat is unfolding in Gunjur, the hometown of the Majority Leader Kebba K Barrow. There is a Chinese company engaged in fishmeal production, which dumps its waste and dead fish along the coastline and neighboring communities. The factory releases intense bad odour making people sick as well as destroying our fish reserves and polluting the waters. This is a direct threat to the lives and livelihoods of the people of Gunjur, Kombo and the Gambia as a whole. Yet this company called Golden Leaf Factory continues to operate unchecked by the Government since last year until today, four months into the administration of Adama Barrow”. The pictures are disheartening. If the situation continues unbridled, the consequences will be far-reaching and profoundly costly not only to us Gambians but our sub-regional neighbours too. Corruption by some locals, government officials and the Chinese company is excusing the factory owners from upholding and respecting their corporate and social responsibilities of their contract at the expense of a collective nation. Mr President, be reminded one of the pledges of your government on its cabinet compact on delivering good governance and accountability is to “ensure effective land use planning and management”. Therefore, it is prudent to give the Gunjur beach concerns an utmost urgency.
Another equally disturbing concerns is “a notorious Gambian migrant-turned-militia has been accused of kidnapping his fellow Gambians and other African migrants and extorting money from them. The militia, one Sankung Janneh from Kanifing Estate, is believed to be working with several brutal Libyan militia groups in Ben Walid, a town 200 kilometres from the capital Tripoli. Janneh is allegedly jointly operating three prisons in Ben Walid where kidnapped compatriots undergo torture and some even die”, standard newspaper. Mr President, all what is required, according to the Gambian Association in Tripoli is an arrest warrant from Gambia government to nick this nefarious son of anarchy. Repeated efforts by the association to secure the arrest warrant has been met with chilling abdication of duty from concern government officials. Again greed and corruption are the stumbling blocks here.
What is happening with the anti-corruption body under your leadership? Yesterday I shared a Kenyan Anti-corruption video on my page on how they are curbing sickening corruption within their police and other government departments. Many Gambians identified the malaise in our own police and other government departments too. The reactions were daunting, Mr President. Albeit the approaches to salivating it varied, all agreed something must be urgently done to bin it soonest. Below are some of the reactions:
ABDOU JALLOW: “You will be surprise to know that bribery is openly taking place in The Gambia now. In the past, when Jammeh used to be there, many were afraid that he would fire them at best and lock them up at worst. That sense of fear prevented many from engaging in open bribery. Now that Jammeh is gone, it’s a carefree attitude to bribery particularly at the police. You see vehicle owners paying for dix without being issued receipts. Same goes for number plates and licenses. The future seems bleak in our country unless there are radical institutional reforms couple with a robust civic education drive”.
SIAKA SONKO: “Jeeeze a super sting operation..this nonsensical idea of owing the right to fleece the public rather than serve them is a craze..it should be eroded”.
LAMIN JATTA: “I think first and foremost, we have to pay them a decent salary that is sufficient to take care of their expenses, and then institute such anti corruption operations. Folks how do you pay a police officer less than D2000 in the backdrop of this crazy inflation and you expect that officer to pay for his commuting, food, rent as well as take care of his family. We have to look at this in a honest and comprehensive manner”.
DEMBA NGANGE NJIE: “To do this anti corruption practices, u must recruit new Young and fresh men and women with a leadership of a Foreign expert Police to lead them. Secondly, we must get rid of all top Guns in the police from IGP to low commnders”.
KEJAU TOURAY: “Then we will have to sack and lock all of them lol”.
There we go Mr President.