Mr. President, since you assumed the high Office of the President in 2017, The Gambia has made significant progress in world ranking in terms of press freedom in Africa and the world in general.
There are no killings of journalists or burning down of media houses as it used to happen during Jammeh's regime. During Jammeh's era, the Gambia used to be ahead of only three (3) African countries out of fifty- five (55) countries in the African rankings, and today we are among the top ten (10) in Africa.
Mr. President, The Gambia should now abolish the draconian media laws which existed during the Jammeh regime. The government should assist the press with subvention like most African and European governments do and reinforce the cordial relation with the press since the press is a partner in development.
Mr. President, this year is an election year. As such, confrontation between security forces and journalists should be avoided as well as militants of political parties to allow the journalists to do their job and not to engage in any form of confrontation with them.
Mr. President, as we mark World Press Day, we appeal to your government to arrest and persecute all those involved in the assassination of Deyda Hydara, co-founder of The Point Newspaper. "Justice delayed is justice denied."
More efforts should be made to sustain the press which is playing a vital role in our democracy and good governance. Government should pay always media houses their bills without delay.
Mr. President, it is good for the government to have consideration on the salaries and allowances of the civil servants because the cost of living now is very high in the country.
The majority of the people can no longer afford to buy basic commodities for their needs. Civil Servants should be motivated so that they can be efficient in their duties.
Mr. President, your government should without delay, establish an Anti Corruption Commission.
The staff of the audit department should be commended for a job well done for discovering bogus claims of over 32 million dalasis by some officials. Strict measures should be put in place to make sure these kinds of claims do happen again.
Mr. President, your government should listen to the national cries about the new wave of crimes in the country. It is getting one too many and threatens the peace and security of the country. People are not safe, armed robbers attacking people with gas; threatening of people and taxis are not safe for passengers, etc.
A number of foreign nationals from the sub-region who speak non- Gambian languages are committing heinous crimes plus Gambian criminals who go out day and night to unleash terror and serious crimes against peace-loving Gambians and other residents.
Finally Mr. President, the public is getting more upset that the government does not seem to be capable of handling the dangerous environment in which we live.
Perhaps, if the ripple effects enter the homes of 'big men and women' the government will take bold and decisive actions to redress the threat to national security. Many have agreed that the second republic did better with security. Government must act now.