Meet the Farmers Tour Politicised


It is now very clear that President Barrow’s meet the farmer’s tour has being politicised by the Barrow administration. It is also very clear that what we have is a regime change but there is no system change.
From day one President Barrow was speaking about the size of crowd he is pulling and talking about how far he is ahead of the two former regimes in term of road construction and other developments. However everyone knows that President Barrow was really not saying the realities when it comes to developments. The President was also boasting of projects which he claimed to be his when those were not his.
The cabinet ministers on his tour were also more of politicking that responding to the needs and aspirations of the farmers.
Hon minister of Local government and lands at Nianija started attacking the Opposition Gambia Democratic Party (GDC), calling them all names and saying the party is losing support base in Basse.
The Hon Minister for Tourism was also from day one, campaigning for President Barrow and alluding to the upcoming of a new political party to be led by President Barrow since he has no party yet.
This was the trend of the tour which was meant to assess the conditions of the people and positively respond to their needs; however what is coming up is more of testing his popularity than providing solutions.
This was the kind of system that was here for over five decades; Gambian thought with the advent of a new era we would have seen a system change. But the system is in place now is the same only a change of a regime.
Unfortunately the size of the presidential entourage on meet the people’s tour is very big and the cost naturally will also go up.
There are unconfirmed rumours that the cost tax payers up to thirty million dalasi (D30 million). This is a very unwise expenditure for a country whose economy is fragile.
The compositions of the entourage is made of top civil servants, cabinet ministers, Gambian diplomats, Barrow fans club, Barrow Youth Movement and the Barrow Youth for National Development. School children were also at some points included in the entourage. The local authority is also part of the tour such as the districts Chiefs, Governors, and village heads called Alikalos.
Are we really doing things differently? The answer is a definite no. This is what the PPP under Jawara was doing; and this is what the APRC under Jammeh was doing; so where is the different?
Unless we reduce the size of such tours to a technical team such as the permanent secretaries, directors, heads of government projects, ministers and some relevant people we have not change for the better.
Mr. President be advised that ; do not defeat the purpose of the tour. The 1997 constitution of the Gambia mandates you to embark on a nationwide tour to assess the conditions of the people. Therefore do not use your tour to gauge your popularity or political strength rather listen to the problems of the people with the objective of finding solutions.