Wednesday, October 4

Lawmakers who refused to approve funding for road projects don’t want Gambia’s progress – Barrow

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By Omar Bah

President Adama Barrow, who was busy laying foundations in Lower Saloum and Basse over the weekend, has accused some National Assembly members of deliberately attempting to frustrate his development agenda by voting against the funding of some road projects.

The Gambian leader was speaking at the laying of the foundation stone for the construction of the 86km North Bank rural road project at Ngayen Sanjal.

“There were some National Assembly members who refused to vote for the funding of these roads. If I tell you that there were lawmakers who rejected it, you should know them. They are the ones who don’t want my progress and the progress of this country. But lawmakers who love The Gambia and its progress and my progress supported the funding and I am saying thank you to all of them,” Barrow said.

The National Assembly approved the construction of additional 86km roads in rural Gambia.

The road projects consist of two lots in both the North Bank and Central River Regions of the Gambia.

Lot 1, which is awarded to Arezki Construction Company limited, starts from Sabach Sukoto to Bambali, Sarakunda to Ngeyen Sanjal, covering a distance of 38km while Lot 2, awarded to CSE company, covers Kaur to Jimbala, Kerr Uldeh and Kaur-Janneh Kunda to the Senegalese border village of Kerr Chaindu, measuring 48km.

The two road projects, estimated to cost GMD1.6billion, are entirely funded by the government. Construction works of the two road projects are expected to finish within 16 months.

Upon completion, the two road projects would serve as important additions to the national secondary roads network, thereby improving rural urban connectivity and push towards the attainment of one city-state.

“We are not interested in insulting or castigating people – we are only focused on working. To us, the decision entirely lies on the Gambian people to decide who should rule them in 2021. But one thing I am certain is that this country will continue to progress,” he said.

Calls for unity

Concerned about the recent political tension in the country, President Barrow said: “I want to urge Gambians to unite and have the country at heart. This is the only way we can develop this country.”

He said since he took power in 2017, Gambians who were sleeping, have now woken up while those who left the country are now returning “even the deaf are now hearing and talking and the blind are also seeing now.”

“The peace and security the country continues to enjoy is the result of the democracy brought by my government. We have ensured that the parliament and the judiciary operate independently without any interference. This is because it has been proven that democracy is essential for the progress of any country,” he said.

He said his government has managed to stop all the mismanagement of public funds they inherited from the previous government.

Hamat targets UDP

Also speaking at the meeting, Tourism Minister Hamat Bah urged NPP supporters to invade UDP’s strongholds and convince their supporters to join the president.

“We will have to attack the big wrestler and wrestle with him. We should stop beating around the bush. We should attack the UDP support base and break the party by convincing their supporters to join us. That will be our victory,” he said.

Bah, who is a native of Saloum, said it should be every NPP supporter’s business to turn all the opposition to Barrow before December.

The Lower Saloum district chief, Lamin Touray said with the construction of the road “no opposition will remain in Lower Saloum.”

The president was given 6 bulls and a sheep by the people of Lower Saloum.

“We have nothing to tell you apart from thank you. For over 50 years, we have been crying for the construction of this road without success. Our women have over the years suffered a lot,” the chief told the audience.

The chief also informed the president that the GDC constituency chairman and host of others have cross-carpeted to the NPP.