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OPINION: Gambian politicians don’t care what voters want
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OPINION: Gambian politicians don’t care what voters want

The Gambian political landscape has left me astounded, as I have never encountered a group of politicians who seem to think so little of their responsibilities and the people they serve. 


In a country with post-war living standards, it is disheartening to witness parliamentarians tapping into public funds to buy themselves luxury gifts. This is not a case of corruption, but rather a sheer display of incompetence and ignorance. These individuals hold the steering wheel for the future of The Gambia, yet they prioritize their personal gains over the well-being of the nation.


In contrast to the free and competitive private sector, politics in the Gambia seems to be the only avenue for the feeble-minded to access public funds. This is a concerning dynamic, as it signifies that those who lack the capability and intelligence to succeed in the private sector find solace in politics.


 It is alarming that the head of state, elected by the people, displays chronic academic deficiency. Moreover, the incompetence within the National Assembly resembles that of a circus troupe rather than a serious governing body. These individuals lack any aspiration to protect the interests of the Gambians. Instead, they focus on trivial pursuits such as acquiring multiple wives, wearing extravagant attire, and riding in luxury vehicles to the Assembly, all funded by public money.


This essay aims to shed light on the dystopian policies and incompetent administrations that have eroded the Gambian middle class and dramatically lowered living standards. In doing so, I will attempt to present objective facts, rather than conveying personal opinions.


The role of a parliamentarian is that of a civil servant, whose duty is to serve the civilians. This should not be misunderstood as an opportunity for a luxury lifestyle. It is simply a job, and it is the responsibility of these individuals to fulfill their duties diligently or step down. Tapping into public funds to indulge in personal luxury is morally unethical, particularly when their performance at work is underwhelming.


The Gambia is known to be one of the poorest regions in the world. Such a ranking is a consequence of the government's misplaced priorities. Rather than investing in crucial areas such as healthcare, education, and improving the cost of energy to boost productivity, they choose to allocate funds towards purchasing luxury vehicles like Toyota Prados or constructing personal houses. This mismanagement of resources contributes to the deterioration of the nation's quality of life.


The value of the Gambian currency, the Dalasi, is a crucial factor in determining the well-being of its citizens. Unfortunately, the mismanagement and inefficiency of the government have resulted in a rapid devaluation of the Dalasi. This, in turn, has eroded the faith of the people in their own currency. The lack of confidence in the government-backed currency has driven citizens to list their properties for sale in foreign currencies like US Dollars or Great Britain Pounds, further exacerbating the depreciation of the Dalasi.


A striking example of the government's incompetence can be seen in the currency exchange rate. In 1980, one United States Dollar was equivalent to one Gambian Dalasi and forty butut. Today, the exchange rate stands at sixty-five Gambian Dalasis for one US Dollar. Such a drastic devaluation is indicative of a government that lacks productivity and fails to create an environment conducive to economic growth.


A government, like a football team, should be expected to perform. If they fail to do so, the middle class of the country will suffer. Through the lens of behavioral economics, one can observe that Gambians lack faith in their government. As a result, my question to the Gambian people is simple - why have you continuously elected individuals with low intelligence quotients (IQ) to lead your country since 1996?


As evident from the tone of this essay, my approach is formal to promote a rational discussion surrounding the implications of the Gambian politicians' actions. It is paramount for the citizens to hold their representatives accountable and demand for competent leaders who prioritize the nation's well-being over personal gain. Only then can the Gambia begin to thrive and elevate its position in the global arena.


By an anonymous concerned Gambian


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