Opinion: You Can’t Wish a Scandal Away!
By Musa Bah:
Scandals are notorious for refusing to go away. They linger on and lurk around; just waiting for an opportunity to resurface and appear again, in full glory. They can’t be wished away.
The diplomatic passport scandal first surfaced when it was revealed that some officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were involved in fraudulently issuing diplomatic passports to people who shouldn’t have them. Twoofficials got arrested, according to sources, and one got away.
Then yesterday, it was revealed that the driver of the president had been arrested for questioning. The ‘spin masters’ at the State House went into overdrive. They came out with a statement (littered with grammatical errors by the way) saying that the arrestee is neither the president’s driver nor is he the chief driver at the State House. They said that he hasn’t been a driver at the State House since 2018.
Interestingly, the said driver spoke to The Standard Newspaper and revealed that he is certainly still working at the State House and that he just received his salary the day before yesterday. Thus, we can glean from these conflicting revelations that at least one of them is trying to pull a fast one on us! Who is it? Ask me again!
I passingly asked a question on my Facebook wall earlier today as to whether the Barrow Government is serious about its professed fight against corruption. Many folks said that they didn’t think so.
It isn’t difficult to see why they think that, as I, for one, cannot remember the last time that I heard of a person being convicted of corruption in this country. And there is little or no doubt that corruption is rife in the country.
How else can one explain the fact that since this government came to office in January of 2017, they spoke a big game of fighting corruption but have still not set up an Anticorruption Commission?
In my myopic opinion, we lost the opportunity to take a stance against corruption and malfeasance when we stopped raising concerns over the anonymity of the donor who gave pickup trucks to the president which he in turn gave to the National Assembly Members.
All but four of them took those vehicles and started driving around town gleefully. How can a National Assembly Member who is driving a brand new pickup truck given to him by an anonymous donor probe into corruption?
In my humble opinion, the institution that has failed Gambians more than any other is the National Assembly.This institution has been given oversight duties by the Constitution; yet, they hardly raise a finger when issues come up.
Thus, the issue is about citizens compelling their representatives to do the right thing and start probing into issues and making the right noise when issues come up. Let them set up an Anti-Corruption Commission which will be given all the powers to do its work.
In yesterday’s issue of The Standard Newspaper, it was revealed that the country’s domestic debt stands at a whopping 32.5 billion dalasis. With the rate of corruption in this country, when will we even begin to repay those debts and have resources for nation building?
The time has come for ordinary citizens to take a stance against elected officials treating us like fools and enriching themselves while milking our coffers dry.
Editors note: Views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Gunjur News Online. Got an opinion article? send it to us at GunjurNewsOnline@gmail.com