TIME TO GET REAL MR PRESIDENT
Mr. President it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that most Gambians found few things in your new year’s address to the nation to be hopeful for about the future. Your address was full of lofty rhetoric with no substance and goes to show how out of touch with reality we have become. Gambians are really tired of hearing these addresses coming from you, either on the eve of Christmas, New Year’s Day, “koriteh” or “tobaski”. Gambians can see through these addresses for what they are, which is mare propaganda and fear mongering. Mr. President you kept referring to our greatest challenges and obstacles during 2012 without mentioning what those challenges and obstacles where, and how to deal with them going forward. You seem to be encouraging Gambians to be engaged in blind optimism whilst you run this nation further down the drain. Mr. President you said your government has implemented prudent financial and fiscal measures during 2012 but the average Gambian continues to slight ever more into poverty. Mr. President the only thing Gambians remembered was your so-called commission setup to deal with tax evasion, and also your unilateral action to impose an artificial exchange rate between the Dalasi and other currencies such as the US Dollar and Pound Sterling, both of which produced disastrous outcomes for the Gambian economy. Mr. President under your reckless leadership the Gambia’s annual budget deficit has grown bigger and bigger, and the weight of the national debt will eventual crush the economy. This is because the government will have to engage in massive borrowing to finance the deficit, which will crowd out private capital and make it harder and harder for businesses for to borrow capital for investment. Mr. President you should be busy engaging what is left of the private sector in the Gambia so as to come up with pro-growth policies such as lower taxes, less regulations, rather than scaring the heck out of these people and threatening to tax them out of existence. Mr. President, It is an irony that after 18 years in power you have still not been able to figure out what the role of government is in a capitalist oriented market system. Mr. President your government should be providing an enabling environment for businesses to be easily set up and to flourish rather than trying to take over the entire economy. Mr. President you seem to want every Gambian to be dependent on your government for virtually everything because you want to be seen as the “almighty provider” to every Gambian.
Mr. President, Gambia as you well know depend to some extends on agricultural produce as its main source of earning foreign currency. I was glad to hear you say, due better rainfall this year farmers are expecting a bumper harvest, but you didn’t inform Gambians what your government is going to do to make sure that farmers are able to sell their produce and be paid on time for them. It is one thing to have a good harvest but it would be useless if farmers can’t sell their produce. Since the demised of the Gambia Cooperative Union more than 10 years ago, your government has yet to come with a cohesive strategy to make the marketing of groundnuts, which is the main cash crop for the vast majority of farmers, smooth and effortless. Mr. President, you keep encouraging Gambians to go back to the land, but what have your government done to make sure people who went back to the land can sell their produce without been given an IOU by an unregulated group of traders. Mr. President Do you know that some farmers do not get paid for months after selling their nuts to these traders. How is that an incentive for people to go back to the land? Please get real Mr. President.
Mr. President in your address you said Gambians should look for business opportunities in virgin areas without indicating what those virgin areas are, and what your government is going to do to make them attractive for investors. Mr. President, are those so-called virgin areas the oil reserves you told us Gambia has more than 10 years ago. Remember how you went on a propaganda tour around the country telling anyone who would listen, that the Gambia has oil and within 3 years we will be producing oil. “Yeah right” Gambians are still waiting. Mr. President where is the floppy disk which contained the data on the so-called oil reserves, I hope that disk is not already infested by your lying viruses, and by the way, they don’t make floppy disk readable computers anymore- fool!.
Mr. President, in your address you said that the electricity supply has helped increased the economic and socio-political lives of Gambians, Really? How can you be so out of touch Mr. President? I know power doesn’t go out at State House and in Kanilai but surely you must know that the electricity situation in Gambia is going from bad to worst. Mr. President for the past 6 months residents of the greater Banjul area get electricity only a few hours a day, hardly a success worth celebrating. In addition to the poor electricity supply, consumers are hit with constant rate hikes for no justifiable reason. But this shouldn’t be a surprise to Gambians because you have turned every government parastatals into your own private business with the helped of scrupulous Lebanese businessmen. Mr. President you gave the national electricity and water company (NAWEC) to a non-Gambia Mr. Basil to run on your behalf, and instead of using the funds generated by the company to secure new generators and upgrade our aging electric grid, you and Mr. Basil are looting the company and stashing the money in overseas bank accounts. Greedy bastard!!.
Mr. President it was funny to hear you talk about alternative and renewal energy. Do you know what those words mean, or were they merely inserted in your speech by someone just to make you seem up-to-date. Mr. President, if I’m wrong in my assertion and you actual know what alternative and renewable energy is about, can you then tell Gambians what your government is doing to development an alternative energy sector. What policies would you be implementing in 2013 dealing with renewable energy, or is this also one of your lofty rhetoric with no substance behind it. As Reverend Al Sharpen would say “Nice try Mr. President but we got you”.
Mr. President, the fact that you are still explaining your reason for executed 9 inmates more than 3 months after the fact, show that you terribly screwed up and have lost the message war. Mr. President, this is going to be one of the more visible stains on your legacy, and no amount of explaining would make it go away. You will be recorded in Gambian history as the president who executed 9 people in one day and lied about for days before admitting it. Mr. President, you really miscalculated this time, because you though you could kill these people in the dark of night without anyone finding out. You were wrong, and the only reasons why you so upset and still talking about it, is because you got exposed; beast! Only a beast will called the global outcry from executing 9 inmates and lying about it, “blown out of proportion” as you stated in your address.
Mr. President, when it comes to your address on education, I by and large agreed with you that our educational system need a serious revamp especially at primary and secondary levels. Mr. President our poor quality of teachers at both primary and second levels in public schools is failing a lot of our kids and something needs to be done about it. I also agree that subjects such as maths and science need more emphasis as well as English. We need better teachers to teach our kids at their early stages of learning, where the caliber of teachers makes a lot of difference. But Mr. President we just don’t need a speech from you about the issue, he need you to take concrete steps to improve the caliber of teachers in our nation’s primary and secondary schools.
Mr. President it was good to hear you talk about political pluralism as the only way we can achieve the socio-economic development envisaged in your vision 2020, even though you governed as a dictator. Mr. President, how can Gambia achieved your so-called vision 2020 when you are busy arresting and intimidating a vast number of Gambians who just happens to have a fundamental disagreement with you on how to run the country. Mr. President, its time you accept that debate and disagreement is a necessary ingredients in any democracy, and those who hold different political views have the right to be heard just as you are entitle to your occasional rants on GRTS. You are right when you said one person does not make a nation, but the irony is, that is just how you think of yourself since coming to power in 1994. Mr. President, you behave like the Gambia is your personal property and everything in it. You see yourself not just as an elected servant of the people, but as a supreme being, imposing your will on Gambians with impunity. Mr. President, the Gambia does not belong to you; it belongs to the Gambian people, who in the exercise of their civic duty elected you to lead them to peace and prosperity and not to treat them like your slaves.
Mr. President, you keep labeling Gambians into those who are genuine and those who are not. Mr. President, there is no such thing as an un-genuine Gambians, and by un-genuine if you mean those who do not agree with you 100% all the time, then of course there are too many un-genuine Gambians for your comfort. Mr. President you should know one thing, and that is, the fact that you are president does not make you more Gambian than the rest of us, who disagree with you on how you running the country. Mr. President, you are no more a patriot than any Gambian, infact there are many Gambians who are more patriotic than yourself, Gambians who fought for us to have the right to govern ourselves and chart our own destiny, Gambians who championed economic reforms in the mid eighties which helped put the nation on more sound financial footing, by implementing an Economic Recovery Program (ERP), Gambians who stood for and championed human rights and freedom. Mr. President, you have done nothing for the Gambia apart from loot its resources to enrich yourself and your co-horts, torture and maimed its citizen, destroyed its democracy and rule law, detained its citizen at will without due process, execute its citizen without due process. Mr. president if you can called yourself a patriot with all the bad things you have done during the past 18 years, what should the rest of us called ourselves!.
The final point on your address is your intention to build a hospital for HIV/AIDS….Wow!-amusing! –is it not? Mr. President I guess you will never stop trying to pull one of your idiotic stunts on the Gambian people. Are you really going to use our scarce resources yet again to engage in your wild dreams of treating HIV/AIDS through herbal medicine. Mr. President you have become the world’s laughing stock by claiming to able to treat patients with HIV AIDS. When are you going to stop this lunacy and focus on governing? Mr. President the funds you intend to use to build your fantasy HIV/AIDS hospital could be used in a more effective way through awareness and prevention programs, which do far more to curb this deadly virus than your gimmicky treatment. Mr. President why can’t you learn from the experiences of countries who have successful reduced the HIV/AIDS pandemic in their countries through implementing awareness and prevention programs, countries like Uganda and Kenya. Mr. President please come out of your fantasy world and into the real world before it’s too late.