Analysis By Essa Bokarr SY.
Here we are again ready to use the 6th sense without any let or hindrance. Where checks and balances are expected critical thinking must never be at the rear. Now that we have a think tank and many other organs in place we cannot afford to remain gullible or naive right ? You know policies and procedures cannot be absent where capacity building is expected!
Now what remains is how can we use simplicity to define the basic meaning of certain things we hear about or read about every other day. Sometimes we sit at home and hear this and that has been launched isn’t it? Most of the time expectations are great when we hear or read about those launchings… Interestingly though the PPP era has been launching so many programs, so did APRC and now the coalition of niceties. Project analysis does not exclude sustainability or? Well what has so far been achieved or sustained in all this noise? We can easily see FAILURES though but find it hard to be able to lay hands on successes..
Which is exactly why the AFPRC – APRC was quick at laying blames on the PPP regime in 1994! They tested the pulse of society with an equipment called EUPHORIA before doing so. As soon the test results were favorable to them they started blaming everything on Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara. Ranging from the crude oil saga to even tea spoons at the State House! It was easy because public opinion sometimes is like a windmill. Therefore once an easy target was found it was named P P P era. Along the way time tried truth again, it was not difficult for time to gather facts for the case of truth whereas leadership under Yahya jammeh wanted to use authority to try truth. It did not work during Galileo’s time I wonder why APRC thought it could for them?
Commissions of enquiry were set up but yielded nothing at the end. Yahya the darling of the then “new Gambia” became monotonous along the way rejection started replacing appreciation in the minds of the people. Yahya a “militocrat” who had found “new love” saw it eroding faster than expected.Yahya also knew he could not compete the former PPP stalwarts on any platform when it came to politicking with a purely democratic culture so he started using fear and pain to maintain himself on the seat of power. It worked so he chose to remain on that horse. It led to the deaths and disappearances of many until January 19th 2017 at Midday. Today where are we at? In the sea of regrets. Ask yourself how many things were launched by former V P Isatou Njie Saidy from 1996 to 2016? So many including her darling project PAIGE! What have we achieved from those endless launching? NOTHING SUBSTANTIAL. Did that stop the wind of change when the masses were no longer ready to carry the yoke of oppression? IT DID NOT! That is enough a lesson for the new leadership!
Now here we are again hearing a lot about launchings and launchings and launchings every other week or so. Coupled with it is the noise and euphoria attached to announcements about monies from world bank, IMF E U and the like.
Here I want Gambians especially those who see the announcement of such funding as liquid cash in suit cases, to understand that it does not work that way. Of course politicians in most cases use it for propaganda but what we need to tell the peoole is that plans, policies and procedures should precede anything and everything else. Which is why minds should follow be guide by mindmapping to be able to arrive at a convincing rendezvous with destiny. Should the people allow any single mind or few minds to control their destiny? Never should that be part of it! Therefore the governor should be governed and the regulator should be regulated. How about checks and balances be the scales to balance between performance and planning then? The question remains this way. Do we wait for the policy maker to plan before performing or do we wait for them to perform without planning or do we walk side by side with them while planning and working? Either way HOPE IS NOT PLAN! So what are leaning on now? Hope or plan? Sixth sense is being carried by critical thinking searching for convincing answers in respect of the latter not the former.
So the challenge is if there are no plans or convincing procedures to guide the functionality institutions it will only lead to structural deficiencies. Ultimately those monies will only remain a mirage but not anything substantial. Mirages look like oasis when traveling through the desert but they are just a dream before the eyes! A case in point youths traversing the Meditteranian sea! What we all know as the “backway”. What incentives have been put in place to stop this immediate menace? How about the victims of the Jammeh era? What has so far been done to at least wipe the tears of mothers like Yaa Yaasin Jobe mother of the late Njagga Jagne? Aunty Mariama Tambedou mother of the late Ebou Lowe? Ajaratou Mammy Ceesay mother of the late Alhaji Mamut Ceesay? The children of Deyda Hydara, Omar Barrow? Parents of Chief Ebrima Manneh? Solo Sandeng and Solo Koroma? Commissions of enquiry to recover monies is wonderful however the difference between the former and the present is that the present should prioritize human rights abuses and crimes against humanity. Public opinion is whispering about the latter more than anything else. Tip toeing within the ranks of the perpatrators while acting macho before the victims will certainly not help a regime that was put in place to judge between the two. Criticism is the best pill for some one or some party who wants to excel without being misunderstood. Remember the old English adage which says he or she who want to excell is always misuncderstood but not where genuine and constructive crictism is not ignored! We are all ears. Now let enter another terrain which is administrtion versus expectation from within and outsicde. What matters here is for one to live up to expectations. A case in point is names like governors in are left o flow but the Gambia is not federal Republic. It maybe seen as a something “light” by some but it leaves so much to be desired. What is wrong with the name COMMISSIONER? Or Regional Head if that can serve the purpose better. Remember when Yahya Jammeh added Baabilimansa on his title without paying head to ethics and compliance! Some of those anomalies should have scraped forth with. Likewise the case of the Bakoteh dumpsite could as well be a set back for the new regime because they closed it for 6 months without working on relocation! Such gaps erode public trust. People or who think they genuine supporters are trying to turn this into a war of words on cyber space but the truth is HOPE is not a PLAN! Once the place was closed it meant turning it into change and that should have change one can believe in. Can anyone show us an alternative if the Bakoteh residents were to rise up again? I hope so! Eventhough dumping has restarted, government should move fast and get a new location which will then be the next dumpsite. Mark you people are whispering it in town while asking questions like this one. With all the monies we have been hearing about from World Bank etc why can’t the government at least relocate the dumpsite. You know what? Yahya was using “ready made blames” reserved for the PPP to escape everything he heard or felt from critics and kept doing so for 22 good years! We do not want that anymore! Yahya was changed so lets try our best and make sure we enage the new team to avoid blames, all we want is for them to replace blames with a productive modus operandi NOT PIECE MEALS either!
Also another thing we heard is that all passports including diplomatic ones as are now being issued at the level of the ministry of interior. THAT MAY SOUND GREAT TO THE LAY MAN OR INEXPERIENCED BUT A SERIOUS BLUNDER TO THE PROFESSIONAL. IF THAT IS THE CASE (***emphasis mine!***).
Where it is proven to be the case then it is another big mistake! Passports like the ordinary Gambians passports and ECOWAS ones maybe issued at the ministry of interior but diplomatic and service passports should never ever be left in the hands of the ministry of interior! Service passports and diplomatic ones are way too powerful and special to be left in the hands of any other ministry which does not cover diplomacy within a professional not political umbrella. The protocol division at the ministry of foreign affairs should carry that burden not any other place else. Such things when observed from an outsider’s perspective do give a different image. Worst of all it can be seen as out of the normal therefore could retard support especially in the area of cooperation from a security angle. Our passports, our visas, our airport management are very important ingredients where cooperation between our security organs and other countries is expected to yield benefits like exchanging intel or training our personnel. Remember we libe during an era where terrorist organizations are being manned by highly educated and tech savvy men and women. Never ever fail in making sure our documents will not fall into the hands of the unwanted and usual suspects on the world arena. If we expect to be ranked as a reliable partner in terms of security we should equally avoid what will turn us a “dark spot” not to be “trusted” or relied upon. Dependability is very important where one is charged with a given responsibility especially during this era where DIGITAL TRUST is paramount.
Make no mistake about it if intelligence reports start observing such within The Gambia it can change the mindset of potential partners per se. Investors or potential partners will never feel free in a country where some of the things oberved here above are not diagnozed and addressed within competence and confidence!
In fact in countries like the USA passports be they ordinary or diplomatic ones are issued by the department of State which in THe Gambia means the ministry of foreign affairs.
Policies and procedures if left aside means we are fumbling in the dark searching,for the lights like the Nigerian lady singer Sade sang it in Sweetest harbor!
Should institutions like the THINK TANK be there as the ones we saw in the past or should it be challenged by independent or critical thinking ?How about the outcome of cabinet meetings? How about board meetings and so on and so forth?
Use the 6th sense!