Dodou AB Ndow, GDC Diaspora spokesperson

By: Bakary Ceesay, in Germany 

Dodou AB Ndow, Diaspora spokesperson of the Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC) said that the end of President Adama Barrow’s administration is a new start for progress.

Gambians will go to the polls on December 4th 2021 to elect a new president to lead their country for the next the next five years.

While Gambians in Europe and elsewhere in diaspora are not eligible to vote in any elections, the demographic plays a crucial role in the elections with diaspora contributions supporting friends and families back home to vote for presidential candidates of their choice.

According to remittance statistics by the Central Bank of The Gambia, Gambians in the Diaspora contribute 48% of the Gross Domestic Product of the economy.

In a growing trend putting remittances well ahead of income tax contributions, the next government must address diaspora issues and engagement to amplify and leverage these contributions, which come with the corresponding need for increased

The GDC Diaspora Spokesperson said Barrow’s lack of a sound manifesto manifests many reasons why he should be Voted Out on December 4th 2021 accusing the incumbent of sowing disunity among Gambians whilst encouraging inequality by openly using tribal Politics as a means to stay in power.

Mr Ndow added that the incumbent greedily expropriated the Coalition 2016 agreement from his partners and failed to implement the National Development Plan ( NDP).

Ndow, who is based in the UK outlined a list of issues including the absence of “review and reform of institutional failings, poor health Sector in West Africa and Increased unemployment rates since 2016, inadequate COVID-19 Management and response bereft of support for citizens and residents, high cost of living with least pay in the ECOWAS region” as major problems derailing the transition in the new democratic dispensation.

He added that president Barrow has the lowest Economic Growth and the GDP outlook since independence.

“Hightening crime rates and insecurity in communities. Set up and failed all four commissions, Faraba Bantang commission and Janneh commission, Constitutional Review Commission, and recent Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission”.

The GDC Spokesperson also lamented the use of State resources for personal gain during annual constitutional meet the people tours without effective policy review.

“There is no respect for technocrats and meritocracy, leading to widespread corruption with D35 Million of unaccounted funds in the first lady’s account” Mr Ndow charged, saying

“Increased abuse of the constitution with executive powers Interfering in local governance and dissolution of Separation of Powers through National Assembly” have coupled with an unhealthy ambition to stay in power for the longest possible time without regard for term limits”

Mr. Ndow promised that a GDC-APRC-GAP Coalition will Reconcile and Unify Gambians and uphold the TRRC report in accordance with Gambian Law.

“We will Reduce the current 40% Unemployment Rate. Reform institutions with merit base employment through diversity and inclusivity. The Coalition will ensure increased literacy rates and make education free to grade 12 with quality teacher training and development”, he added.

He pointed out that the decaying health Sector will be revamped with free medication for pregnant women until a Child is 5 years as well as senior citizens over 65 years. “We will build a major hospital in each region of The Gambia.

“If GDC is voted into office, the economy will be boosted with a more active work force that leaves no one behind. Gambia is mainly dependant on Tourism, Fisheries and Agriculture which we will maximise including exports to international markets,’ he promised.

Mr Ndow said Small Medium Enterprises will be facilitated to grow with easier mechanisms to set up a business in The Gambia.

The GDC Spokesperson further added that their government will engage Gambians in the Diaspora and support them to invest and settle back home through the Diaspora Investment Fund (DIF).

“The Coalition will ensure local government autonomy in accordance with the Gambian constitution as per the One Gambia, One People mantra. GDC is the Solution”.

However, Mr. Sainey Jabbi, the National People’s Party Diaspora chairman in Finland urged Gambians abroad to back president Barrow for a second term.

Sainey Jabbi, NPP chairman Finland

He explained that Gambians are enjoying democracy today thanks to President Barrow’s leadership.

“After 22 years of dictatorship,  tribalism, mass killings, torture and unnecessary arrests in the Gambia, now the atmosphere in the Gambia is peaceful and  every Gambian is free to express their opinions with great regard for gender equality.”

Mr Jabbi, further highlighted advances made in expanding press freedom, noting that under the Barrow administration “Freedom of the press and expression of opinions significantly improved.

Commenting on the security situation, the NPP Finland Chairman said people might complain about lack of security in the Gambia, but with the little equipment we have, our men and women are doing everything to make sure that we are have security and safety in all the four corners of the Gambia. We need to support our men and women in uniform to trace bad people in our society,  so that the criminals will face the full force of the law. All the security departments are free to do their jobs, without the president giving them orders as we experienced under president Yaya jammeh,” he said.

Backing the NPP Leader for the presidency, Jabbi said he “believes if Barrow is given the opportunity to govern for the next five years, there will be more improvements in our health care and social services  and he will build more standard hospitals in the Gambia”.

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Mr. Sainey M.K. Marenah is a Prominent Gambian journalist, founding editor The Alkamba Times and formerly head of communications at the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) and Communications and PR Consultant for The Gambia Pilot Program, under Gamworks. Mr. Marenah served as the Social media Strategist and Editor at Gambia Radio and Television Services. He is also the Banjul Correspondent for Voice of America Radio. Sainey is a human rights and developmental journalist who has carved a strong niche particularly in new media environments in the Gambian media industry. Mr. Marenah began his career as a junior reporter with the Point Newspaper in the Gambia in 2008 and rose through the ranks to become Chief correspondent before moving to The Standard Newspaper also in Banjul as Editorial Assistant and head of News. He is a household name in the Gambia’s media industry having covered some of the most important stories in the former and current government. These include the high profile treason cases including the Trial of Former military chiefs in Banjul in 2009 to 2012. Following his arrest and imprisonment by the former regime of President, Yahya Jammeh in 2014, Marenah moved to Dakar Senegal where he continues to practice Journalism freelancing for various local and international Media organization’s including the BBC, Al-Jazeera, VOA, and ZDF TV in Germany among others. He is the co-Founder of the Banjul Based Media Center for Research and Development; an institution specialized in research and development undertakings. As a journalist and Communication Expert, focused on supporting the Gambia's transitional process, Mr Marenah continues to play a pivotal role in shaping a viable media and communications platform that engages necessary tools and action to increase civic participation and awareness of the needs of transitional governance to strengthen the current move towards democratization. Mr. Marenah has traveled extensively as a professional journalist in both Europe, Africa and United States and attended several local and international media trainings.

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