Fellow Gambians both at home and abroad.
Dear Comrades and Party Sympathizers
As we stand on the threshold of 2023, I take this opportunity to extend to you and your families, on behalf of our party’s Central Committee and on my own behalf, very warm New Year greetings. For our party, the Year 2022 has been a particularly busy year culminating in the convening of the Biennial Congress on 17th December 2022. The Congress offered us an opportunity to review the party’s performance since the Constitutive Congress in October 2019 and to chart a new way forward based on the lessons learnt at the Congress. I want to take this opportunity to thank the constituency delegates from all over the country, whose presence at the Congress and contributions to the discussions have greatly contributed to the success of the Congress.
On external relations, GFA in 2022, became a member of the African Liberal Network, an organization of African political parties that share liberal democratic principles of good governance, respect for democracy and human rights and provision of equitable opportunities for citizens to improve their lives. This membership will provide our young party the opportunity to share experiences and work together with other liberal parties at the continental level.
For the coming year, 2023, the Party looks forward to the local government elections. Other planned activities will include the convening of the congress of the Women’s League and the Youth League to allow these important organs to elect their respective Executive Bureau. This will ensure that these organs are more fully integrated within the party structures and further strengthen the party’s mobilization efforts. The Biennial Congress resolutions, which include the strengthening of constituency and area structures will, as a matter of urgency, be implemented to guide our future actions.
As we prepare for the task ahead in 2023, I am confident that the party militants will continue to demonstrate the high level of commitment and hard work that have allowed the party to register the gains we discussed during the congress. We will need to retain our support base, while progressively broadening it through effective recruitment effort on a continuing basis. At the same time, the party will continue the progressive enhancement of the political awareness of the general membership, and enhance the skills and capacity of our cadre of party workers through training and capacity development.
If one were to broaden the review to the national level, the year is characterized by worsening living conditions of our people. Today, many families are struggling harder daily to meet their needs whether it is food for the family, medicine for the sick ones or education for their children.
The recent calamity of the untimely and unnecessary death of seventy young children due to Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) because of the use of contaminated cough and cold syrup imported from India readily come to mind. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families for their tragic loss. This is clearly due to the failure of the Government to provide the necessary resources to the competent authorities to enable the testing of drugs being imported into the country. We believe that those responsible, particularly the Manufacturer and the importer of such contaminated drugs, should be held accountable for what has happened.
What we are in fact witnessing this year is the cumulative result of decades of abusive rule that had proceeded hand in hand with a chaotic mismanagement of public affairs and rampant corruption, which have rendered the state decadent, incapable of guaranteeing even the minimum security, justice and essential social services for our people. This mismanagement has also resulted in an economy that is collapsing daily, a situation that has given rise to widespread poverty, misery and disenchantment on an unprecedented scale.
Our hopes for a new Constitution, civil service and security sector reforms, and the lofty pledge to fight corruption have remained at best an elusive dream reflecting the current regime’s inability or unwillingness to respond to the legitimate aspirations of Gambians that motivated the change of government in 2016.
Today, we are all a witness to the continuation of the same old discredited governance practices, including the onerous burden placed on meagre public resources by the very costly and ostentatious life style adopted for the state inherited from the Jammeh era.
In the face of this continued onslaught on our rights as citizens, I encourage all Gambians to stand firm and defend these rights as they have done in 2016. For GFA, we remain committed to the party’s objective of rebuilding our nation from the ruins brought about by 30 years of misrule, deprivation and abuse; and to restore to Gambians their rights to democracy, good governance, security and economic opportunities to improve their lives.
Once again, I wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year!
Long Live The Gambia! Long live GFA!
Hon. Bakary Dabo
Secretary General & Party Leader
Gambia For All