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Barrow’s Corruption Scandal

Sheikh Tijan Hydara, GANU

The alleged corruption scandal allegedly revealed by the UDP MP Hon. Sanna Jawara of Upper Fulladu West is a serious cause for concern if it is true. The Gambia Alliance for National Unity (GANU) has learnt with shock, the alleged corrupt act of the current Administration and some National Assembly Members and we are genuinely concerned.

If the people we entrust with the responsibility of managing the affairs of our nation can be engaged in such corrupt practices, then we must not expect any significant progress in our nascent development and democratisation process. This startling revelation is dangerously alarming and will put this government’s transparency, which is a cardinal hallmark of democracy into question. We wonder if the government is concerned about the welfare of Gambians. If this is true, it will therefore look like they are only interested in consolidating and devising strategies to remain in power.

If you have ever been in doubt as to whether this government is sincere about the welfare of Gambians, this alleged revelation should clear your doubts if found to be true, it would therefore mean that these people are clearly there for their own interests.

The GANU leadership is of the firm beleive that entrusting a corrupt leadership with the task of remedying situation of a country on the verge of economic, social and institutional collapse, is a recipe for state failure.

There are a lot of allegations that this government is presiding over a falling living standard, high youth unemployment, broken health service, poor infrastructure, failed agric sector and a stunted economic growth. And now to cap it up, corruption at such high scale with ‘peopel’s representatives’ is a serious cause for concern.

It would then be obvious that the current government is losing grip and are short of ideas.

Recently, the country’s vice president Ousainou Darboe made a declaration that this year’s cropping season has failed and there will be no bumper harvest. He appealed to the international community to help the 1.7 million Gambians with food aid.

The teachers had organised several strikes since the beginning of this year, likewise the doctors and many other public institutions such as the Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation. Their calls and demands are real and need urgent solutions.

Despite all these sufferings and concerns raised, coupled with the lack of steady electricity and water supply, lack of good road networks and infrastructure, and the myriads of other challenges, if the UDP-majority parliamentarians are allegedly conspiring with the current Administration in a form of bribe taking, to ensure that they help to entrench him in power, then that will be very unfortunate.

Recently, it has been rumoured that the President hired a private jet which allegedly costs US$15,000 per hour, to attend the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly in New York; his wife, the First Lady’s implication in an alleged corruption scandal of D35M, allegedly transferred into her foundation’s account by a Chinese company called TBEA, are serious matters that need to be accounted for. Gambians need a clear explanation for transparency purpose.

What must be understood is that the current Administration should know that they are still in a transitional period and a lot is expected of them. So they must do their best to ensure that people’s hopes are not faded away. Therefore, we expect them to deliver to the expectation of Gambians and to honour the 3-year gentleman agreement with the Coalition members.

In the interest of the nation, we urge the government to clarify all these allegations. GANU will continue to hold government accountable on all issues of national interests.

Statement by Gambia Alliance for National Unity (GANU).

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