GOOD MORNING PRESIDENT BARROW

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Nah. No one is unreasonable here Mr President. Most of the criticisms levied on your administration stems from the trauma Goloh Ajumah precipitated on us. Nontheless, we all want a prosperous Gambia desk on strong democratic institutions and practices to harness our fragile democracy, justice and equal opportunities for each of us. However, the sooner we appreciate that the solutions to this national ambition just isn’t rested in politics but our attitudes and media the closer we get to achieving our goal, Mr Penguin, oops President. Evidently, on December 1st 2016, Gambians had succinctly demonstrated what Goloh Ajumah denied us in politics we compensated by networking and sharing information in the social media which resulted in a historic democratic change. The ability to network and share information on the Gambian social media has reached completely unprecedented heights, which means that the status quo which has been used to lull us into accepting the establishment narrative is wielding less and less substance. The internet has the potential to initiate a total shift in public perspective.

 

Mr President, you are a living testimony to this assertion. In the recent past, the Gambian social media particularly Facebook and WhatsApp audios have illustrated it has potential to initiate carnage and well as broker peace, stability and development. The Gunjur beach and Kanilai sagas are a clear manifestation.
While the social media is influence the narrative for a viable political dispensation, our attitudes to work and state remained unpalatable. Unless we awaken ourselves from the lullaby of attitudinal nomalcy your administrative efforts to deliver development will be daunting.

 

For instance, reporting time to work. Officially, every civil servant must clock in at 08:00 for work. Sadly, majority walk in majestically late without any sense of guilt. Furthermore, most of the time spent at work has little or no bearing with official business. Thus, government and the public are daily rob of valuable official time and resources. Additionally, the condescending arrogance welded by some of our civil servants is obnoxious.

 

Let us cite Hon Madi Ceesay as an embodiment of the others to illustrate my assertion. “I missed my flight to Malta but did not miss my meeting. So what?” he communicated on his Facebook. It is the same flippant attitudes that citizens endure from people they pay to work for them daily. That must change Mr President if we are really serious about transforming our country to a City State. His flight ticket was paid by the taxpayers and the most he could have done was to apologise for his lateness and assure us it won’t happen again. But no. He had to massage it on our faces. Similarly, the belief that “one has to survive where one works” must equally be binned. How can one steal from a family and be cool with it Mr President? In most cases, before one gets a civil servant execute his or her duty, one has to dig into one’s pocket first. That is wrong. It is unacceptable. And shameful.

 

The National Civic Education Council has a crucial role in helping reform our attitudes to work and responsibilities. Systems must also be initiated to curb wasting of public valuable time and resources during official work periods. Many people are getting paid for virtually doing absolutely nothing at all. The only reason many are so desperate to have a government appointment is to steal from us. Get rich for nothing. That is not an ingredient for development. The social media also has a role to play in redifining our attitudes to work.

 

Sulayman Jeng
Birmingham, UK