The Gambia decided to change a government on December 1st 2016 and usher in a new government of which you are the Chief Executive Officer. This change was highly anticipated because it was long overdue. Many Gambians had very high expectations, not only from your government, but from the other public officials as well.
However, these expectations were almost dashed before we even hit the road. This is because it has dawned on many of us that ‘The Gambia has decided‘ but ‘most Gambians have not decided’. We hoped for a Gambia in which everyone will work earnestly for the furtherance of the cause of the concept of a ‘New Gambia of One Nation, One People and One Destiny’.
Unfortunately, many there are who remain stuck in the old way of doing things. The status quo remains in most of our public institutions. The security is nothing to write home about, the education system is in shambles, the Immigration Department has stopped issuing the national documents etc…
I traveled to the provinces on Thursday and what I saw broke my heart. The Gambia Ports Authority is the worst service provider at the moment [at least their ferry services department]. If there are no changes in the shortest possible time, many people will suffer a huge lose in their income. The ferry services is terrible. One can understand that nothing can be perfect but simple, timely, and accurate communication strategy with the passengers and users will go a long way towards easing their difficulties.
There was a scuffle and two drivers almost fought there because one of them came earlier than the other, yet, he saw him being allowed before he and others were allowed to go in with their vehicles. He accused the other driver of having bribed the guards. Thus a squabble ensued. This is a common sight at the ferry terminal. We know that there are people with priority crossing [for important and genuine reasons] but that was not the case in this instance.
Another interesting occurrence at the ferry terminal is that those who buy tickets and enter the waiting hall are always put at a disadvantage. The guards at the gate allow so many people to go through that they almost fill the ferry before those who are in the waiting hall are allowed to go out and board the ferry. Thus, they will not even have a place to sit. This promotes corruption and nepotism.
These types of behavior is totally unacceptable because it causes rancour amongst the people. The people of the North Bank Region lose a lot of valuable time crossing to and fro Banjul. This is the lifeline of their economy. So, the government has to ensure that the Gambia Ports Authority provides a fast, safe and reliable ferry service.
Remember, as I said in an earlier post, the New Gambia must be inclusive. No region should be marginalized or left behind.
We will swim or sink together!
Have a Good Day Mr President….
Tha Scribbler Bah
A Concerned Citizen