The Enigma of Minister Ebrima Sillah
Our enigmatic Information and Communications minister always finds himself in a difficult position to defend hisgovernment’s repeated mistakes caused by the lack of coherent policies and inept understanding of what makes a responsible and transparent government. The purpose of the program is meant to listen to whatever complaints the people have and then try to inform us on pertinent issues touching the lives of the ordinary citizens.
The concept of the program hosted by one of the local radio station was brilliant but it has now been transformed intopropaganda tool for Mr. Sillah who spent his time outfoxing the public with his usual lectures about the difficulties of holding a public office instead of providing us useful information about some of the government policies and positions relevant for public consumption.
It is embarrassment for him to defend the public order act which almost cost him his life and which was used to lock up the late Solo Sandeng and the UDP executives in jail. The genesis of the program is to give the public access to those who are appointed to serve them. But spending most his time outfoxing the listeners on many issues which he definitely don’t have the right answers tantamount to deceiving the public. Instead of opening the programs to phone calls which will give the public to talk to him directly, it has been limited to text messages only restricting those asking the questions to follow up and clarify or make rebuttal on most of the issues that the minister failed to answer correctly.
I know most listeners were shocked to hear the minister saying that it is right for this government to give our taxes to the commercial banks to help ease the ‘liquidity’ problem in the country which is unconstitutional. The central bank is the government’s bank and the only bank were all government revenues should be deposited. The other banks are owned by shareholders whose primary motive is to use people money andmake profit. Please Mr. Sillah, don’t talk about something you don’t know. This whole thing started with Yaya Jammehdefrauding the nation of its taxes. Only few people at the top who are now benefiting from this illegal act want to maintain the status quo and put this government on a debt trajectory permanently. Yes, central bank is not everywhere throughout the country but GRA has branches everywhere in the country to collect taxes and pay them to the central bank.
Instead of using his valuable time to provide some answers to most of the questions asked, he is found to be stonewalling,evasive and mostly hitting back in a manner that some of us find offensive. He prides himself as a journalist, but sometimes you think you are listening to a maladroit politician who is long on irrelevant issues and short on details. If listeners were allowed to make phone calls then this morning program will not become a propaganda machine for minister Sillah and his cohorts.
Gambians deserved better.
A Concerned Gambian