Editorial: President Barrow’s Second Term: Urgent Matters!

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Mr. President, Welcome back from the NPP’s victory celebration in Basse.We hope it was a good experience at the regional capital where your supporters celebrated the election victory in grand style.

Mr. President, it’s high time you settled down and face the daunting task of putting together a comprehensive development agenda as Gambians wait incalm anticipation of what’s in store for the nation in the coming years.

Mr. President, though your re-election is still being contested by some of your opponents, there is a preponderance of evidence to indicate that Gambians have once again entrusted you, to lead the ship of state for the next five years. You must not fail them; you should deliver and surpass their expectations.

The buzz generated after your victory has started to dissipate; Gambians are now casting their sights on your swearing-in ceremony scheduled for next week. It is a fertile moment to remind you, Mr President, that the work at hand is ever-challenging, protracted and cumbersome because these issues need to be urgently resolved.

The ethnicity brouhaha that was unfortunately gained traction in the countdown to the election was exploited and used as a political bait mainly by top guns is still lingering in our body politic. The comments made by your trusted adviser, Dembo By Force resonate in our minds as he directed his missiles against a particular ethnic group. The timing was not only good, yet it came at a moment many people thought the ethnic tensions that defined the 2016 presidential election had come back to haunt the nation again.

As President of all Gambians, we expect you to be resolute in your decisions and eliminate this hydra-headed monster before the issues are beyond redemption. We are worried about your continued silence on the issues that matter. And recalcitrant aides have a tendency to create more harm than good if they continue to tread on this territory.

In your second term, there has to be a solution to the simmering tensions that had reared its head during the campaign. A government that sows seeds of discord is not only dangerous, but its a system that has atendency to implant hatred into the body politic so that the children of tomorrow will be at eachother’s throats unnecessarily.

Mr. President, your religious affairs adviser should be more circumspect on issues of ethnicity and political support. Mr. President, the health sector needs urgent fixing, despite what is seeming perceived in somequarters as gains recorded, yet maternal mortality and failing infrastructure have hamstrung developments in the sector.

We, therefore, expect government to set aside more resources to not only build infrastructure but to procure requisite supplies that will address the needs of the masses. Recent reports about corruption and negligence have cast doubts about your government’sresolve to fight this scourge at all levels. The nation’s resources should not be pilfered, divertedand misappropriated by selfish public officials, yet the government will continue its singsongthat unprecedented developments are being recorded.

Over the past years, several youths are risking their lives in pursuit of better lives in Europe; the government should continue to create a conducive environment for the youths to stay home and work. We are reminding you that over one hundred Gambian youths are still unaccounted since they left the nation about a month ago – do you know about it?

It remains to be seen how you will tackle these issues in your second term, even though it is better to be an optimist than a pessimist.

Good day, Mr. President.

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