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“This kind of summit never happened” -Kandeh Describes OIC summit A Flop

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Hon Mama Kandeh, Secretary General and Party leader, GDC

By Buba Gagigo 

In a scathing critique, Hon. Mama Kandeh, Secretary General and Party Leader of the Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC), described the recently concluded OIC summit in the Gambia as a failure, urging President Barrow to reflect on his administration’s performance.

Kandeh urges President Barrow to reflect in solitude on the OIC summit’s outcomes, questioning the success and the fulfillment of the nation’s expectations. He highlighted the government’s inability to complete anticipated infrastructure projects since their ascension to power in 2017, despite the summit’s initial schedule for 2019.

“I want the president to sit alone in his house and ask himself whether the OIC was a success or not. Do you really have what we wanted about the OIC? I don’t want him to ask anyone but himself. We were supposed to host the OIC summit in 2019, they came to power in 2017, and they could not do anything within two years. From 2017 to 2024, all the roads that we expected would be completed were never completed. Where are his ministers? Where is his cabinet?, Kandeh asked.

The GDC leader criticized the administration for failing to deliver on key OIC-related projects, including roads, transportation, medical services, and electricity. He challenged the effectiveness of the current ministers and their departments, questioning the reasons behind the summit’s shortcomings.

“The roads were not built, we could not have the vehicles we expected to have, we didn’t have the doctors we were supposed to have, we couldn’t have the ambulances, we couldn’t have the electricity. Mr president I know you told Gambians that you cannot do it, and you don’t know, but you trust people (to do the job), where did they put you and Gambians? We have a Minister of Energy, Minister of Transport, Works, and Infrastructure, Minister of Information, and Minister of Health and you have all the Ministries needed. Why did the OIC summit fail? Kandeh asked.

Furthermore, Kandeh condemned the actions of the 2016 coalition, accusing them of mismanaging resources and selling vehicles acquired for the OIC summit by the previous administration. He scrutinized the government’s decision to borrow vehicles for the summit at a high cost, questioning the benefits to the Gambian people and pointing out the power outages in the Greater Banjul area during the event.

“Is not good to be in haste. When the coalition took over the government, I told them that they put together hungry and angry people and their beliefs were not the same. Is that not happening today? $300 million was given to the Gambia for the OIC summit for us to have good roads. Excluding the Airport junction to Senegambia. We should get 20 other roads. Are those roads ready? You (President Barrow) are about to get 8 years here now. 

“President Jammeh brought the OIC summit and bought vehicles for the summit preparation. Where are those vehicles? You came and sold all of them. Those vehicles don’t belong to Yahya Jammeh but to Gambians. That’s why when you needed vehicles for the summit, you went and borrowed them from a businessman who was looking for his business interest. Why will you borrow 89 vehicles just for two days and each vehicle costs more than D3 million? What does that benefit Gambians? The entire Greater Banjul area couldn’t have electricity because of the OIC,” Kandeh said.

Kandeh also addressed the low attendance of heads of state, attributing it to the country’s failure to complete projects on time. He stated that only six out of 57 leaders attended, marking an unprecedented occurrence in the history of the OIC since its inception in 1967. He concluded by urging the president to conduct a thorough review of his cabinet.

“Mr President, just like when you are traveling, you will have an advance team before leaving, that’s the same way that the 57 heads of State did when they were coming for the summit in the Gambia. When they came, they saw that most of the work had not yet been completed, and they didn’t see what they were expecting. They communicated to their leaders and told them not to come. Out of 57 heads of State, only six presidents came. From the inception of OIC in 1967 to date, this kind of summit never happened. Mr President, recheck yourself and your cabinet,” he said.

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