President Adama Barrow has said he wants to leave a legacy that all Gambians can be proud of and one that wouldn’t require the setting up of commissions of inquiry after his administration.
The president was speaking at State House while meeting with district chiefs.
Chiefs from all the five regions of The Gambia attended meeting.
According to the State House Facebook page, the meeting, which took place at the request of the local traditional leaders, provided an opportunity for the head of state to hear first hand from the district heads about their work and how they’d collaborate with the central government to achieve the development aspirations of the president.
On behalf of the visiting team, scores of speakers explained that they’re at the Presidency to renew allegiance and commitment to the vision and development agenda of the Barrow government, vowing to contribute their quota to make sure that the National Development Plan (2018-2021) is a success for all.
The President thanked them for the visit and promised to restore the dignity, respect and the independence of the Office of District Chief. He reminded them of their primary responsibilities, among which is to promote the government’s policies and programmes , preserve and maintain the traditional and cultural heritage of their communities in an environment of peace and stability.
He said the country is enjoying a lot of goodwill from the international community, and as a country, we have to collectively mobilize and leverage on that spotlight for the benefit of all and sundry.
The district chiefs raised the following issues, among others:
1. The revival of the periodic “Mansa bengo” – the annual retreat of district chiefs.
2. Replacement of the position of Paramount Chief
3. Lack of mobility is a constraint to meet their official and social responsibilities and requested the support of the government to ease it.
4. They expressed gratitude to the president and his government for having the foresight to subside the cost of fertilizer and seeds for local farmers. They requested assistance in acquiring more agricultural and farming equipment.
5. They called for the support of the government to establish, where absent, and strengthen the Office of District Chief in all administrative districts in the country.
6. On Community Policing and border security, they promised to continue working with security services to reinforce community policing, particularly in border communities, while highlighting the need for a more robust and reinforced vigilance along the frontier.
7. They expressed the desire to be part of the administrative mechanisms and processes of the land commission.
Responding to the concerns raised, the Minister responsible for Regional Government and Lands, Hon. Musa Drammeh, promised that central government would look into their concerns with the urgency they deserved. He reminded them to remain apolitical in the due execution of their duties and to detach their official duties from partisan politics. He was however quick to add that they are free to exercise their civic and political rights as citizens.
Source: State House