A Catch 22 Situation! December 2016 marked that fateful month in which the people of the Gambia, inspired by a Coalition for change, mustered that ultimate courage, temerity or the audacity to make their final and resolute stand against dictatorship. The resultant triumph coupled with the shrewd, decisive and timely intervention of the ECOWAS, culminated in a new government led by President-elect, Adama Barrow to supplant the 22 years of President Jammeh’s rule. Barely, a year has gone by since the birth of the Coalition for change in the ‘New Gambia’, Gambians or some Gambians to be precise, have already started venting anger and frustrations on the new government for our country’s infrastructural failings. Certain failings like the spasmodic and erratic electricity power supplies have been affecting the country for so long. This has now prompted the ongoing criticisms of NAWEC and the government but one needs to ask as to whether the country’s chronic power deficiencies should be laid squarely at the feet of a completely new government that is still at its teething periods. The authentic answer is any one’s verdict. Notwithstanding, it is obvious that civic concerns about any lack of vital public services, such as electricity and the like can never be taken lightly by such a devoted and patriotic leader in the calibre of President Barrow and his ‘Coalition of the willing’.
However, one must also not lose sight of the fact that the new government has taken over a severely constraint pauper system, that is way off the parameters of any dependable democracy and good governance. Apart from the requisite necessity of establishing a government machinery, it also has to formulate ways and means of addressing national development issues, including but not limited to that of electricity shortage. To be candid, the Gambia’s electricity problem is so long-standing and chronic that no quick fix solution can suffice adequate remedy. For us to have a lasting and durable solution, it is my humble view that this young government needs to be given a little bit more time, to properly diagnose the problem and come up with a strategic lasting solution, rather than the fainthearted and sporadic quick fix that we all seem to be agitating for. Given the chance, this and many similar national issues would be adequately addressed. We should make no mistake to underestimate this Coalition government, because it comprises of the best combination of political talents that we can be ever blessed with as a nation and hence they have the right impetus to deliver us to the Promised Land. All they need is our understanding, cooperation and of course, collective participation in rebuilding our nation to the enviable envy of others. Consider the fact that several political parties in our country decided to compromise their party ideologies to rally behind our humble and forward-thinking President in the best interest of the country. Therefore, given the chance, there is high potential that the Gambia would slowly but surely go places in the years to come. I therefore wish to humbly appeal to all Gambians to rally forces behind our Coalition of the willing, and collectively work hands in glove towards a constructive nation building. We should pursue ideal but unrealistic ambitious development goals with caution and prudence and be rest assured, what is barking us as citizens, is what is biting the Barrow administration. This Barrow government are far more passionate and committed to developing this country than any of us can imagine and they are leaving no stone unturned in their resolve and determination in pursuit of a permanent solution to this electricity crisis. Therefore, please let us bear with patience and unity bearing in mind that ‘at the end of the tunnel, there is light’.
Alh Yahya Ceesay