By Fatima Jammeh February 10, 2022
Barely less than a month after being sworn in for his second term in office, ordinary citizens from different walks of life have raised their concerns regarding how the president should run the nation in the coming years.
They lamented mostly on security, health education and the wellbeing of the population, not forgetting the galloping of basic food commodities. Yahya Krubally, a first-year law student at the University of the Gambia said he expected the government to consider the efforts of the Gambian soldiers. “It is devastating to see our own Gambian soldiers being marginalized in favor of foreign troops.
We profoundly thanked the ECOMIG forces for the wonderful work they’ve done but I think their mission has been completed and accomplished which is to restore democracy. We all saw how our troops performed in different peace missions worldwide.
I think it is high time for the government to entrust the entire security apparatus to our men in uniform.” Krubally also wants the president to look seriously into the health sector while stressing the high rate of maternal deaths being registered frequently.
He also urged the government to invest more on education, especially the plight of teachers. He called for the recruitment of qualified teachers and this he said can be done through providing them attractive salaries and allowances. This he continued would enable them to stay in the field and also attract many to come in.
Fatou Jobe, a fish seller at the Serrekunda market dilated on the difficulties they were facing since the Chinese opened their fish meal factories in the country. They catch all types of fish including the smallest ones. She said the business was shrinking day by day. The fishermen were not catching fish as before because last week my husband called me saying he only had one basket full of fish after almost a week in the river.
She called on the government to look into their plight as they have bills to pay for some of their young ones going to school. Tijan Jassey, a taxi driver at Westfield, urged the government to adjust the traffic rules and also to construct better roads. He also called for the creation of signboards that could alert the drivers where to stop and where not to stop or pack. Many times our license has been seized by traffic police officers for wrong packing as there is no signboard to indicate.
Mr Jassey also admonished the government to regulate fuel prices or increase the transport fares. I normally run between Westfield and Tipper garage but with the increments of fuel, I now cut it into two trips. Without that, we would leave to take nothing home. We do not want it this way, but we also have families to take care of, he stressed.
Isatou Kanyi, a market vendor, wanted the president first to look into the issues of tribalism and tribal talks in the country. I want the president to come out with stern measures to combat tribalism. Secondly, I wanted him to help us reduce the escalating prices of basic food items especially as Ramadan is just around the corner.
She said the majority of the population was suffering and many were going to sleep without taking dinner. Mrs Kanyi also recommended the president consider the health sector. “Our health system is lacking behind, we lack enough qualified doctors and nurses. I delivered my first child at the hospital, imagine I delivered without the nurse knowing that I am about to deliver. The nurse attendant was not up to the job. My child almost died because the head was injured due to the way he was born.”
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