In a recent television interview, President Barrow remarked that politicians say all sort of things during campaigns and while this is mostly true, I find that very notion to be among serious fundamental problem that has affected our people and derailed development of our country for decades.
Selling unattainable or fanciful promises to the electorates with a view to deceiving them just to get their votes remains a critical eyesore in our politics.
Majority of Gambians live and experience scorching poverty on a daily basis but they put their hopes on politicians to help them ease the burden through responsible, responsive and impactful policies and programs.
They don’t ask for handouts but fair opportunities for themselves and their families. Instead, all the electorate get in return is the enrichment of those they vote for and a continuing vicious impoverishment for themselves and their families.
Our fellow citizens are dying en masse in hospitals for lack of basic healthcare services related to inadequate funding and mismanagement in the sector yet our National Assembly wastes no time approving allocation of staggering amounts to the office of the President to support and maintain the lavish lifestyle and luxurious living of the President and his family.
A whopping D2m (about $41,000) is spent every month on the First Family’s grocery alone while our brothers, sisters and parents die of ‘oxygen shortage’ a block or two from the Presidency.
Thus, unless we recognize and immediately act on false and empty promises from our politicians, clean our politics of dishonesty, hold public servants accountable and severely punish them at the polls or through other democratic means, what President Barrow said in his interview will continue to add deaths and poverty to the growing statistic of development failures in our country since Independence. We must make a stand against pipedream politics ASAP!
Zakaria Kemo Konteh