Renowned Political Science lecturer at the University of The Gambia (UTG) said the difficult situation the country is experiencing has prompted a group of concerned Gambians to set up Citizens’ Alliance (CA) with a view to offering a viable political alternative.
“We are all disappointed with the situation of our country,” Dr. Ismaila Cessay told a crowd at Pencha Mi Hall at Paradise Suites Hotel in Kololi.
The newly formed political party has officially joined a crowded political field, becoming the eleventh registered political organisation. The emergence of Citizens’ Alliance comes at a time when the country’s political landscape is shifting gradually.
What is more disappointing, he went on, is the lack of action, a vision and a strategy to address what he described as “the most basic issues” that affect the lives and livelihood of ordinary Gambians.
He decried the increase in youth unemployment, forcing some of them to opt for the perilous journey to Europe as they rather prefer to die at sea than face undignified living conditions at home.
Dr. Ceesay denounced the continued rise of the public debt, plunging the country into an endless trap that is hampering development efforts. A situation that has left previous regimes with no alternative but to opt out of the vicious cycle.
“Citizens’ Alliance is a political organisation founded on the ideals of democracy, civil liberties, social cohesion and social justice,” he remarked. “CA is created to respond to the country’s desperate needs for a new effective, transformative and innovative leadership.”
Pushing ahead with a national inclusion agenda, Dr. Ceesay reminded the gathering that CA will make sure that the new type of leadership will not only focus on uniting the country, but also address the many challenges facing the society.
He reiterated their resolve to pursue a citizens’ driven agenda that would ultimately eradicate all forms of discrimination against any citizen or group of citizens.
“We will embrace our country’s diversity, ensure equity and equality and promote justice,” he added. “The Citizens’ Alliance is committed to inclusive democracy, rule of law, good governance, accountability and transparency.”
Speaking earlier, Citizens’ Alliance Interim National Chairperson, Dominic Mendy, said the newly formed party constitutes a new platform for the development of The Gambia.
The party, he said, was formed not just to win elections, but to secure the future of this challenged nation.
“As a nation, we had had several false starts and overtime, it has become evidence that we need to succeed this time,” he voiced out.
He then announced that a new concerned citizens have emerged over these past months, ready to tackle the rise challenges The Gambia is confronted with.
Mendy, who previously held the portfolio of Finances and Economic Affairs under the Jammeh regime, made it clear that they make sure that the country will not suffer from a false start.
“This time, The Gambia must find a solution,” he emphasised while indicating that CA is set to move the country in a new direction.
Citizens’ Alliance Interim Chairperson said the time has come for the country to harness its potential. “After 22 years of authoritarian rule and a peaceful change of government, Gambians have shown the capacity to choose good from evil,” he stated.
Mendy warned that a progressive country cannot be achieved on the grounds of tribalism. “It has to be achieved on the grounds of tolerance!”
In a goodwill message delivered on stage, Raffie Diab sounded the alarm bell over the deplorable situation people living the country’s hinterland are confronted with.
“In some areas, it seems the clock has stopped working since independence,” he said in an attempt to open people’s mind to devastating reality prevailing in rural Gambia.
The launching ceremony was also punctuated by speeches emanating from representatives of various regions of the country. Under the umbrella of Citizens’ Alliance, they all vowed to make a difference in Gambian politics…