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Yankuba Darboe Highlights Corruption As His Region’s Biggest Challenge In 2023

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Yankuba Darboe, Chairman Brikama Area Council

By Buba Gagigo

In his New Year’s address, Yankuba Darboe, Chairman of the Brikama Area Council (BAC), highlighted corruption as the most significant challenge faced by his region in 2023.

He emphasized that corruption had turned politics into a means of personal gain rather than fostering meaningful development in the region and the country.

“As a region and a nation, our biggest challenge of 2023 had been corruption, which had impeded development in our region and country, impeded job opportunities for our youths, impeded our access to adequate housing, impeded our access to quality education, impeded our access to quality health care services, etc. Corruption had polarised our polity and degraded our patriotism to sycophancy,” he said.

Darboe lamented its role in dividing communities along tribal lines, leading to the loss of numerous lives at sea as people sought refuge in societies recognized for their success in combating corruption.

“It has divided us into tribes when the very nature of our societies calls for the blurring of such divisive lines. It has caused us to lose many young lives to the treacherous waters of the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean in 2023 than any preceding years since the Atlantic Slave trade, all in search of societies that have beaten us in combating corruption,” he said.

Drawing lessons from 2023, Darboe urged increased efforts in combating corruption to save the lives of the youth and invest in areas such as job opportunities, education, healthcare, housing, agriculture, and sports.

“We have to do more than what we did in 2023, as a region and country, in combating corruption and saving the lives of our youth folks; to be able to invest in: job opportunities for our youths, quality education, quality health care services, adequate housing, agriculture, sports, etc.”

The Brikama Area Council chairman issued a warning, stressing that Gambia’s survival depended on changing perceptions and acknowledging corruption as a singular threat. He highlighted the detrimental impact of corruption on development and progress, stating that a ‘corrupt’ nation would see limited growth.

Darboe pointed out that corruption thrived because it was easier to be corrupt and escape consequences than to fight against it successfully. He called for a collective effort in 2024, urging the region and nation to unite in combating corruption as a common enemy to achieve a better Gambia for all.

“Corruption further thrives in this country because it is easier to be corrupt and succeed at getting away with it than to fight corruption and succeed at getting rid of it. Until the reverse is the norm we are doomed to repeat the failures of 2023 in 2024. Thus in this year 2024 let us unite as a region and nation in combatting our common enemy, which is corruption, in order to achieve a better Gambia for all of us,” he said.

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