By Sainey Darboe
The founder and leader of Gambia Moral Congress who dons the double cap of adviser to the president, Mai Ahmad Fatty, has hit out at the stinging dearth of patriotism to which he chalks up the country’s lack of development since attainment of self-rule.
Offering diagnosis of national development paralysis after five decades of independence, he wrote:
“After over half a century of nationhood, we are yet to love ourselves. This country has deep seated problems that require emergency attention. Our nation is not healthy, we are poor, illiterate, hungry, energy challenged, unemployed, infrastructure deficit, technologically backward and dependent on foreign grants and loans to power our weak economy”.
Despite the uptick in numbers of health centers, Mai Fatty is not possessed of the belief that quantity has resulted in quality, adding with uncommon, brutal honesty:
“In fact , the best place to contract malaria is at health clinics. Many of our existing development challenges we confront are inherited from the dictatorship. Some are attitudinal. We cannot succeed with the same mindset that created those problems.
The Gambia is our country, and The Gambia Government is our government. The issues and problems are Gambian creation, and together we The Gambians must solve them, because they deserve Gambian solutions. Many efforts are ongoing, and those efforts must be supported.
We should all be part of those efforts to produce sustainable solutions. No one should exclude him/herself. The economy is growing but the growth has to be pro-poor to impact lives. We need to work harder so that all can feel the benefits of growth”.
In order to place The Gambia firmly on a developmental trajectory, Mai Fatty reckons cleaving towards partisanship in the face national development needs must be combatted with perceptible alteration of attitudes. His words:
“There is time to talk, and time to work; time for politics and time for national development. Its observed that many among us have time for everything except seriousness and commitment to work together as a people, and with our government to better the lot of our people. Unless we change our attitude towards our civic obligations and commit to serve faithfully, we will fail, and fail together as a nation.
Democracy and free speech are a given, but must not be used to undermine national development, unity or collective prosperity, out of mindless partisanship. We must stop seeing problems according to partisan colours; all our national problems have unique colour combination - the national flag. The Gambia needs our collective attention”.