‘’President Barrow’s Meet The People Tour Is Unjustifiable And A Waste Of State Resources’’
I was wowed when I learnt that; President Barrow and delegation has set out on a countrywide meet the people tour. Even though the nationwide tour is sanctioned by Section 222(15) of the constitution of the Republic of The Gambia, It is unjustifiable and uncalled for to embark on such an expensive trip, considering the recent state of economy as well as the mounting challenges facing our beloved country.
Furthermore, the heavens have opened long ago, giving farmers the green light to start work. As a result, the tour should have hold before the raining season, so he can be furnished with challenges facing the poor Farmers and address them by now.
In The Gambia, however, the challenges go beyond low rainfall, pests and disease. Farmers at all scales of the production value chain, need access to the inputs required to produce a successful crop high yielding seeds using effective fertilizers and sufficient water through irrigation system.
The last time I checked the provision of a safe water supply and good sanitation are major contributory factors to positive healthcare. Unfortunately, The Barrow administration is unable to provide clean water for all rural and urban areas. We cannot achieve a free zone disease country until and unless we take in charge of our health care system and pump in the required resources to meet international standards.
Taking a cue from the great Pan Africanist- Tomas Sankara, one could realize that; Living way ahead of his time, within 12 months of his leadership, Sankara vigorously pursued a reforestation program that saw over 10 million trees planted around the country in order to push back the encroachment of the Sahara Desert. In less than 4 years, Burkina Faso became self-sufficient in foods production through the redistribution of lands from the hands of corrupt Chiefs and landowners to local farmers, and through massive irrigation and fertilizer distribution programs. Sankara rejected the idea of foreign aid, stating that “he who feeds you, controls you.”
Lest you forget Mr. President, citizens do no longer safe, the rate at which crime is increasing under your watch is disturbing. In the face of this, Sir, many have been wondering whether or not, your government has the capabilities to come down hard on organised crime and its perpetrators?
The Gambia has a big youthful population, majority of whom are poor, uneducated and are jobless. Most of these youth have resorted to drug abuse and peddling. This did not only triggered several mental illnesses among the teeming masses of young people, it only poses as a monumental problem which threatens the cream of our society. Sir no sooner did you solve, the better it is for all and sundry.
Going further, the female youth too, resort to prostitution as a quick way of earning money for a leaving. To realize the dividend of leadership in the 21st Century, the Barrow led administration must invest in the empowerment, education and employment of her young people. There are thousands of young people in The Gambia today, representing an overwhelming amount of human potential. Yet, too many of them are confined in poverty, with few opportunities to learn or to earn a decent standard of living.
This is just few of the many problems that may come to mine, nonetheless, there are many others that continue debilitating our progress. This is why I believe, the resources used on the tour, could have been useful in solving this and many teething issues affecting our national development.
Saidina Alieu Jarjou