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Opinion: Mr. President Save The Nation

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Omar S. H. Drammeh
History Major,
University of The Gambia
(Photo: Omar S. H. Drammeh)

Dear Mr. President, 

Let me first commend you for your valuable achievement of recent. The 30% salary increment is laudable. You indeed did remarkable efforts in responding to the plight of the flood victims. 

Your efforts to curb the high rate of fatal road accidents is also paying dividends as the police are up to task. Your government entered into partnership and secured (over) 30 buses to ease urban transport. 

Your most recent intervention came yesterday, (3rd September) you took a giant step to regulate fuel prices. Thank you for your love for the nation.

Mr. President, when you came in 2017, you were tipped as the Moses, others described you as the saviour of the sinking ship. 

When Covid-19 broke out in 2020, voices of uncertainty could be heard even in the remotest part of the country as the global pandemic came with uncertainties. 

The biggest worry was in the area of food supply. Citizens were not sure of having enough basic food imports, but more so “worry” was the expectation of skyrocketing prices.

Many well to do individuals bought their provisions and stock it, while the less privileged also casted their hopes in fate.

There, you came in, assured the whole Nation of enough food supply and not only that but more importantly, instituted a national price limit for basic commodities. And the policy was implemented to the later. Thank you for that once again.

Mr. President, the biggest threat to your people now is food security. The current published market price evaluation is not only worrying, but very alarming. Cost of leaving is becoming unbearable and unaffordable to the common citizens.

The skyrocketing  market prices is something your government is very familiar with. Your finance minister had expressed his concerns about it. Your deputy in couple of months back, said” “It can’t be business, as usual”. But still it is business as usual for the business fraternity. 

Prices of basic commodities are in the rise every day. Confidently, they will tell you there is no price control and we sell as we wish. Even within a shop, different sellers have different prices for the same commodities. Is this not amazing? 

The minimum amount that can give you a semi decent meal daily is D200 including lunch and dinner. Over 30 days it will be D6000 excluding breakfast. 

In fact, many families warm the left over for dinner for their breakfast or have none at all. Let’s not even talk about the other basic necessities. 

Mr. President, we all appreciate the fact that we are operating in a free market policies, but when the market becomes exploitive to the masses, then the State has an obligation to protect the interest of it’s citizens. 

Business owners are like a house mouse, borrowing a common Mandinka saying, “it will be biting you, while blowing cold air at the same”, to make you unaware of it’s harm. They will want to dine with you with the milk they obtained by excessively milking that will leave the calf with little or no milk to suckle. 

Things are exceeding limits. Acting at the right time can be the right thing to do. You did many interventions in the past, the same is required to safe your people. 

Dictatorship of the business class is dangerous. History has shown the repercussions of food crisis far and near.

Act and save the Nation. Intervene now, before unbearable conditions force people do so.

Safe the Nation Mr. President.

Wishing you a successful completion of your term in office.

Long live the Republic The Gambia. 

By Omar S. H. Drammeh, Final Year History Major, University of The Gambia 

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