The Gambia is no doubt at cross-roads. The country is grabbling with lack of leadership direction. Hence, there is a collapse of public institutions. The rule of law is also under attack. There is no decorum in the new Gambia. Corruption is also on the rife.
Little over two weeks, Gambian doctors have been on strike. It appears that the new government has no clue as to how to resolve the doctors strike action.
Lack of consensus to resolve the doctors strike, is hampering on patient care. Hundreds of patients have died so far. Our hospitals have now been turned into ghost hospitals, while the blame game continues.
As we scribble this editorial, Gambian doctors have enforced what they called “phase two” of their strike action. Doctors have henceforth boycotted all government health facilities in protest of the recent allegations made against them by the Health Minister Saffie Lowe Ceesay, who accused the doctors of stealing drugs from Health Facilities.
In Gunjur, disgruntled community members yesterday vandalised pipes installed by a Chinese fishing company. The Chinese company has been accused of polluting the environment.
The government’s inability to resolve the Gunjur environmental pollution allegedly by the Chinese firm occasioned the community’s protest action to take the law into their own hands.
By all indications, the Gambia is not heading towards the right direction as far as governance is concerned. The government of president Adama Barrow is either incompetent to rule, or it is out of touch with the masses.
The legitimacy of Barrow’s government is on the line. Public confidence into the regime ability to rule has been eroded. This is largely due to lack of foresight, vision, and what it takes to steer the affairs of the state by those elected to govern.
There is a total disconnect between the EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT and the electorate. The current government cannot govern without setting the standards, and the lead for others to follow. Barrow MUST demonstrate that he can lead Gambians.
Enforcing the rule of law, and combating official corruption is sacrosanct in any democratic dispensation. The Gambia under Barrow’s leadership must demonstrate that it is a nation of laws and strong institutions and NOT strong men. No one is above the law.
Public officials, who used their offices in pursuance of personal enrichment or to perpetrate lies to suit their political interest, must be held accountable for their dishonorable conducts.
Foreign Minister Ousainou Darboe told the Kerr Fatu show that he was not aware of the travel itinerary of the Gambia deportees from the US. He inferred in his statement that the deportees were just dumped into the Gambia without the Foreign Ministry’s consent. He even said he will make sure that they will take up the matter with the US authorities.
C. Patricia “Pat” Alsup, the United States Ambassador to the Gambia has contradicted Darboe’s statement. She said the Gambian Foreign Ministry, under the leadership of Ousainou Darboe were not only informed about the deportations, but the government of the Gambia authorized the landing of the chattered flight to fly the deportees.
” When individuals refuse to return home on a commercial flight, sometimes after causing a disturbance at the airport, ICE Air Operations conducts special charter flights. In accordance with ICE policy, individuals on removal flights are restrained for the duration of the flight for safety reasons. ICE personnel take every precaution to ensure the safety and welfare of those in their custody, as well as the crew and other personnel on each removal flight. As with all removal flights, on the March charter medical personnel from the ICE Health Service Corps assessed each individual and determined all were properly fit to travel. ICE also provided a nutritionally balanced diet, prepared and presented in a sanitary and hygienic food service operation during the flight. Well in advance, the United States Government advised the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the charter flight that garnered recent attention, and the Gambian government authorized the flight’s landing clearance and arranged for the appropriate personnel to be on hand for its arrival,” C. Patricia “Pat” Alsup remarked.
The new Gambia cannot afford to have a government that is not accountable to its people. The regime must practice what it preaches.
Ousainou Darboe should be reprimanded for trafficking false news to Gambians. He deliberately misled our people by making them believe that the 45 Gambian deportees from the US were dumped into the country without the government’s knowledge. That’s false. Mr. Darboe was informed by the US government ahead of the deportations. Mr. Darboe must be suffering from memory loss. He is no doubt aging.
On a final note, the former Jammeh enablers running the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA), and other line Ministries should be purged from the system if this regime truly wants to fight graft. We rest our case.
Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai