Human rights lawyer cum social activist Assan Martin has argued that the Gambia government has shirked its responsibility when it comes to issues affecting youths.
Mr. Martin further contended that the government does not prioritize the youth, arguing that the future of Gambian youths is “bleak”. He added that the youth have no future in the present dispensation.
“This government has failed totally in dealing with issues, affecting youths,” he bemoaned in an interview with The Voice.
He described the Barrow administration as lethargic, regarding the promotion of the well-being and welfare of the Gambian youths, saying this has engendered the problems of youth unemployment and insecurity.
The human rights lawyer opined that the government is not giving the necessary attention to drug problems, arguing that the abuse of illicit drugs is currently affecting the country’s youthful population.
“We have heard varieties of drugs coming into the country without properly being policed and they are affecting our youth,” Mr. Martin lamented.
He urged the government to urgently address the issues of drug trafficking and consumption among youths.
“President Barrow has taken this country backward. His administration has woefully failed Gambians and this failure is costing the future of the youth. History will always remember this government,” he asserted.
He accused the Barrow administration of negligence and apathy over irregular migration, citing the recent Backway tragedy in which more than 25 Gambian youths lost their lives.
“Irregular migration is a burning issue and the government has shown us that they don’t care about the youth. For the past 2-3 months, a lot of youth have died and no effort has been made [to stem it]. There is no civic education program and no community engagement [about irregular migration]. This is all due to the poor youth policies of this government,” he stated.
He pointed out that the government does not have a robust policy on the Backway issue, adding that the Backway crisis will serve as a learning curve for the entire country.
Lawyer Martin, therefore, advised the government to put in place policies to tackle irregular migration and to hold traffickers accountable.