Madi Jobarteh: Where Are The Opposition And The Civil Society?

Madi Jobarteh

The loud silence of the Civil Society and the Opposition, individually and collectively on these burning national issues is quite telling about the direction of this tiny country!

1. The unconstitutional, unfair and discriminatory salary increment

2. The troubled justice delivery system

3. The Government-generated floods and the national response

4. The high fertilizer price and plight of farmers

5. High fuel prices and high cost of living

6. The failed GamPetroleum case and the missing millions

7. The delayed OIC infrastructure works and illegal hotel construction and questionable hosting

8. The disastrous Nawec oil spill and the clean up exercise and impact on communities and farmers and marine life

9. The dubious Banjul road project and its terrible outcome

10. The Auditor General’s Report and massive corruption and plunder of public wealth

11. The delayed implementation of TRRC recommendations

12. The abuse of state lands and land grabbing by public officials

13. The unkempt forests that are not threatened by developers but also being turned into dumping sites

14. The general poor road construction style of using concrete slabs and awarding contractors to building contractors with no expertise and experience in road construction

15. The appalling health system with the illegal suspension of public health workers.

These and many more are legitimate issues of public interest and concern for which the Opposition and Civil Society should be seen taking the Government to task. Because of these issues, poverty, injustice and deprivation have become the order of the day!

The vast majority of Citizens are suffering painfully day in and day out as they face very difficult situations just to earn a living or travel from one point to another, not to mention their inability to get affordable healthcare and basic social services such as water and electricity.

In a democracy when the Opposition and Civil Society become silent on the critical decisions and actions of the ruling party then power becomes unchecked and unrestrained. When power is unchecked and unrestrained then abuse and pillage becomes the order of the day. That’s impunity.

The health and strength of any democracy and governance system rest with the Opposition and Civil Society. A vibrant, engaging and constructive Opposition and Civil Society are the indispensable tools to maintain openness, efficiency and accountability in public institutions and ensure efficient and quality service delivery and the adherence to the rule of law and respect for human rights.

Therefore if the Opposition and Civil Society disengage, concede and stay mute on the critical burning issues of the day, surely that country is heading in the wrong direction. Currently this is the state of affairs in The Gambia!

Why are the Opposition parties and CSOs silent, dormant, hesitant, doubtful, and procrastinating?

For The Gambia Our Homeland

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