Hon.Sedia Jatta-Oppo President Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia
sition politician and
Member for Wuli west
A veteran opposition politician Hon.Sedia Jatta, has slammed as "baffling" President Jammeh's remarks at the state opening of National Assembly, saying he wonders how could the president mean that securities of "persons and properties" remain his government's focus, whilst citizens are being disappeared untraced.
Assembly commences sittings on Monday following Preident Jammeh's opening which outlines among other things, his government's plans for the year. The Wuli West parliamentarian rose to register his outrage at Jammeh's statement, which he said is below his expectations.
"I was baffled because the president says "we [government] should monitor progress so as to attain vision 2020; hence what I had expected him to do was to evaluate Vision 2020 and tell us what policies we have implemented so far," he said.
Sedia said "Security is fundamental but we know it is a big problem here. People have disappeared since 2006 and are still disappearing… yet nothing is done about it. I do not feel secure, so do many others."
He lamented that inspite of the abundance of security agencies – six in addition to NIA – yet the security of people is being threatened. He added that "it is our responsibility to make this country safe, create attractive image for investors; but there must be factors luring serious investors such as security and good governance."
Attaining MDGs is a Myth
On the president's assertion that The Gambia is the only African country expected to attain the MDGs, Sedia questioned if poverty is not part of it. He said it is a myth to admit that poverty is being reduced in The Gambia with the type of condition families lived.
On health, Sedia shared with NAMs the ordeal people of his area go through to get treatment. He said he once visited Yorobaol health centre at night and found not even a candle light on, adding that staffing is poor and drugs inadequate. This situation he said, is not peculiar to only Yorobaol but health centres in Wuli.
"What is being accumulated by AMRC should be kept in a bank to create investment in agriculture. This will generate income. We cannot transform the Gambia if the money accumulated by AMRC is not invested. The Gambia is capable of becoming a modern state only if what is required to be done is done," said Sedia.
He said if you want to promote and diversify agriculture, "we must add value to it. We need to supply our hotels the raw materials. Without this, they will continue to leave what is produced here and import what we already have". Sedia said that instead of instituting this, "farmers are being encouraged to farm without a ready market for them. The government owed farmers money and in some instances, it takes another rainy season for them to be paid".
The Gambia's Economy is Dependent
He said The Gambia's economy is dependent. According to Sedia, in 1985 the country has a debt burden of about 2 billion and the president then says we cannot pay it till dooms day. "Now the debt stands at over 20 billion… so it is not possible for The Gambia to be a high income country as we are highly indebted".
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