Opinion – Accountability While In Public Office?

The Gambia today is such that the recent sacking of the Vice President and changes of the composition of ministers in cabinet brings with it very egregious consequences.

As if we’ve not recently witnessed cabinet ministers operating independently of the direction, policy and vision of the same Coalition Government constituted by its members. The scandals of corruption, abuse of office and ineptitude surrounding Cabinet ministers can only be the basis for President Adama Barrow to “refresh” his government, in the face of poor polling numbers; remove poor performers; and reward supporters but punish nobody.

This situation had worsened in these recent times, and it appeared nothing significant could be done, in particular, to find the solution to their dubious problem as well as the frequently occurring scandal in government circles that affect us almost always. As humans, we are not perfect but one cannot be considered honest and upright after manifesting a total abnegation and denial of joint responsibilities. This goes without saying that the current Coalition Government under President Barrow cannot harbor an opposition force within its own setup.

This is not only a self-betrayal but a dishonest tendency to uphold the very principles that created the unity of purpose and common objectives. Problems and ideological differences should be ironed out in house rather than dishonestly stealing and twisting public opinion and public sympathy for political gain. No one is allowed to ride on the back of the Coalition government and at the same time use the same platform to denounce common policies, programmes and reforms.

If President Barrow has to do something to avert these perturbing recurrences in his cabinet, it must be now or never. This is not the time for promises, neither is it the time for rhetoric, but the time for action, the time to fix the challenges in our country.

The Coalition government, under the leadership of President Barrow, must work assiduously to ensure that these frequent outbreaks and, as well as the looming farming season and annual flooding are dealt with to the benefit of the country and citizenry. President barrow must ensure that the right interventions are put in place, existing rules and regulations are followed and enforced, and negligent leaders are made accountable to their actions and inactions.

Those who have been assigned responsibilities must justify the trust reposed in them; they must prove that they are up to their assigned mandate and removed when they fail. Is it not time for us to start holding our leaders accountable to their offices? Is it not time for us to hold our President, Ministers, National assembly members, Municipal/District Chief Executives and other duty-bearers accountable to their offices? Once President Barrow starts relieving duty-bearers of their responsibilities for want of action or negligence, his government shall be making progress.

This is one of the surest ways of ensuring that these precarious matters are handled in such a way that our human and material losses are reduced to the barest minimum, if not eradicated.

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