Madi Jobarteh: Government Must Be Truthful, and Not Bribe!

Madi Jobarteh

The Gambia Government must be told that they have legal obligations that they must fulfil in a transparent and just manner. The importation of tainted deadly drugs is illegal. To allow these syrups to reach Gambian children only to get them sick or die from consuming them is criminal. These drugs should not have entered the country in the first place because there are laws, institutions and officials in place mandated to guard against unsafe and substandard medicines in the healthcare system.

Therefore what is expected of the President in particular is that when there are breaches of the law and negligence of duty which have cost lives is to take responsibility as Government and ensure investigations and accountability. But since the outbreak of AKI the Government has refused to take responsibility publicly. Rather the President, the Health Minister and his officials continue to rationalize the issue, fabricate stories, distort the truth and caste blame elsewhere just to run away from responsibility.

Government must be seen and heard to be honest, open and truthful, and not to falsify and bribe. Government must be seen taking responsibility and upholding the law. But until Neither the IGP nor the Attorney General have taken any tangible and practical step to ensure accountability. They have refused to effect arrest of anyone nor close down any company or lockdown any warehouse or outlet. Rather life goes on as if dozens of Gambian children are not dying due to negligence and corruption!

This memo here now clearly exposes the Government’s disingenuousness and dishonesty which must be severely condemned. If indeed the Government wanted to pay condolences to the victims, why didn’t the President and the Minister say it three weeks ago when they addressed the nation? How can the Government pay monetary condolences yet refuse to take responsibility for the death and illnesses of these innocent children?

Clearly what this memo highlights is the Government’s attempt to buy and silence parents over the untimely and illegal death of their children. Nothing can be more ungodly and scandalous than causing the death of someone only to refuse to take responsibility but willing to pay for the death of that person! Why?

What is one million dalasi for the 70 children who had already died? When divided, that’s just 14 thousand dalasi for each life of each child! What about the tens more who are sick at home or in hospital right now? Is it that for The Gambia Government the life of a baby is 14,000 dalasi? This is an insult to these children and their parents and to the nation.

But who told the Government that these parents want money for their dead children? Victims want the truth and justice and nothing else. In that Justice, they deserve reparations that is decided lawfully and in a transparent manner. It is so disappointing that public officials who portray themselves as believers in God and patriotic can be so dishonest, callous and criminal.

I urge all parents not to take this blood money. The life of your child is priceless. Demand the truth and justice. Do not accept the Government to bribe you just to silence you. The rights of your children and your rights were grossly violated by the Government which failed to protect your children. Therefore demand the truth and justice.

I declare that this immoral and illegal act of bribery to cover up the death of children is not in my name.

For The Gambia Our Homeland

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