Madi Jobarteh, Human Rights Activist
By Madi Jobarteh
This press release is a clear manifestation of uncontrolled misconduct and incompetence in every sense of the word. It means public institutions either lack effective management policies or whee they exist they are terribly flouted. The fact that the President himself has to take such a decision means there is no control in his government anymore. Things have fallen apart.
So one may ask how are ministers, permanent secretaries, managing directors and director generals running their institutions? How could it be that foreign travel is so easy and rampant that it became a problem? Is there no minoring and accountability system in the public service?
I demand the president to be more transparent here. Show us which ministries, departments and agencies are abusing foreign travels? Which ministers, permanent secretaries and managing directors are traveling more than necessary? The president should tell the public the true story because it appears he is indeed desperate and sick and tired of his government?
Until there’s that transparency then citizens should just throw away this press release as yet another hot air aimed at covering up incompetence, misconduct abd waste of public resources. It was in April 2017 that this president first said he will maintain the SCOT which was created by Yaya Jammeh so he could personally approve foreign travejs.
It is now 7 years and still this president is incapable of bringing discipline and accountability in his own administration! Why?
Since 2017 some of us have been calling for accountability. That the president should uphold the law and abide by high ethical standards. Not only would he rant and threaten people but he in fact became the Chief Law Breaker in town! One cannot count how many times he has violated the Constitution and other laws of the Gambia to the point that the Supreme Court itself had to discipline him in for unconstitutional sacking of parliamentarian.
What this press release therefore manifests is that the chickens are coming home to roost. Things are falling apart and the center cannot hold. Governing is not a joke. It is not magic. It is a science guided by laws and ethics.
If you refuse to abide by the law and ethics as the leader rest assured those you lead will follow suit. How many times has this president chattered a flight and carry uncountable number of people around the world unnecessarily? How can you therefore complain about foreign travels today? Practice what you preach and preach what you practice in public and in private if you have integrity.
I hereby demand that Pres. Adama Barrow to tell citizens which public institutions and officials were abusing foreign travels? That’s what should interest us as citizens. We must demand that those institutions and officials are held accountable and refund the cost of those unnecessary travels. Anything less is empty talk.
This press release is unfair as it shames and punishes all public officials when some have never abused foreign travels. Therefore in the interest of transparency and accountability let the President name the culprits that warranted this press release.
By the obligations imposed on him in the Access to Information Act, he has a duty to be open and honest to Gambians! Until then this is a meaningless press release that only exposes the failure and incompetence of his leadership!
For the Gambia Our Homeland