Much is debated on social media about the current direction or misdirection of the Coalition Government. There is still great expectations following our new democracy and people are waiting for the much-anticipated dividends. At the same time, many are disappointed at the pace in which changes are being effected generally.
But what is perhaps most interesting and baffling is our reluctance to change our attitudes and the way we do things generally and this transcends most Gambians regardless of our political association, tribal and or religious affiliations.
Take a tour at the various ministries, institutions and government departments and the story is the same. Try to effect a transaction for example- to obtain or renew a passport, obtain a driver’s license, effect a land transaction, obtain medical assistance, purchase an electric/water meter from NAWEC, lay a complaint at the police station etc, etc. and you will be faced with and encounter numerous and systemic frustrations such as a complete lack of proper order, absence of an established system(s) or refusal to follow the existing systems, failure to follow queues, stench of urine coming from unsanitary toilets, bad-mannered and uncouth workers who believe they are doing you a favour or expect you to bribe them to do their job and lack of discipline generally.
We are indeed a friendly nation but many of us lack good work ethics and discipline generally and unfortunately any attempt to rectify these vices is usually met with arrogance. We are a small nation but of people with very “big egos” and sometime misplaced self-pride. If only we are disciplined and work only 50 % as we are seen regularly and frequently praying during our working hours then we will achieve great things.
We all need to reorient ourselves starting from our leaders, senior management, section heads, middle management all the way down. Democracy and or a new government and our daily prayer rituals alone will to push us ahead without hard work, discipline, a sense of purpose and professionalism. The government no doubt should set the pace for change but Gambians at all level must actively take part in this process and this we can only begin to do by having a positive attitude towards work especially.
We need serious civic education devoid of political and religious propaganda.
By Emmanuel Daniel Joof (Paps)