By Kebba Ansu Manneh
A group of concerned Gambians known as the ‘Coalition of Progressives’ have challenged President Adama Barrow on many issues affecting the country’s development including rampant corruption, rising commodity prices, lack of employment and the prevailing economic difficulties in the country.
According to the concern group in its press release sent to the press, “if President Barrow fails to resolve these pressing national issues by November, we will organize a national demonstration to send a clear message to the government.
“The supreme duty of the president is to respond to the concerns of the citizens. But President Barrow is gradually changing his duties and responsibilities due to his desire to succeed himself, thus cementing a regime that is perpetuated in the country, just like former President Yahya Jammeh.
“We the citizens of this great country are gravely concerned by President Barrow’s growing reckless attitude to high youth unemployment, endemic corruption and corrupt officials, all because of his desire to succeed and cement a president who perpetuates itself in the same way as the former government.
“We write this letter with great disappointment that the President’s growing policy of deceiving citizens continues unabated, which threatens and jeopardizes the survival of many Gambians, some of whom even voted for him in the last presidential election.” .
The statement added: “We are further concerned that Barrow appears to be focused primarily on its political future rather than the suffering and dire living conditions of many citizens. The challenges facing the country and its lack of action to fight corruption, transparency and accountability are significantly hampering the progress and development of the country.
According to the statement, it is the government’s responsibility to find positive solutions to the immense suffering of Gambians under the watchful eye of President Adama Barrow, arguing that the continued suffering of the Gambian people is largely due to poor governance, to endemic corruptions, and the total abuse of power by trusted officials.
“To be accountable and promote a culture of honesty, integrity and candor in our public functions, we stand against greed, selfishness, patronage, corruption and dishonesty in government. We call on the President to act immediately on the following concerns before November 2022,” the group warned.
The statement added: “We call on the President to institute immediate measures to ensure that the prices of basic commodities, especially staple foods, are controlled and correspond to the basic income of ordinary citizens.
“Immediately establish an independent investigative task force to investigate the illegal opening of the security special account and 669 million dinars of public funds spent on vehicles and furniture without following proper procurement procedures as stipulated in the 2017 audit report.”
The group continued to warn government ministers and presidential advisers who attempt to discredit and undermine the National Audit Office, thereby misleading the general public to kill transparency and accountability.
The group further called on the President to act immediately on the recent national audit report of the Banjul Roads and Sewers Rehabilitation Project by handing over the report to the Inspector General of Police to open investigations and possibly prosecute the charges. authors.
Meanwhile, the group further demanded that the president release the report of the joint task force that was set up to investigate the fire at the Ministry of Fisheries and Water Resources in 2020, reminding the president of the theft and the 2021 Gam oil scandal, which led to massive fuel shortages across the country.
“Who stole the fuel worth over $25 million is still unknown to the detriment of the Gambian people. We also call on the National Assembly to prioritize the Anti-Corruption Bill and enact it as soon as possible. late November 2022,” demanded the Coalition Progressives. He added, “We are rising up calling for a massive decentralized protest if our demands are not addressed by November 2022.”