By Yankuba Jallow
Halifa Sallah, the Presidential Candidate for PDOIS, an advocate for system change, said the chain of poverty must be broken.
Sallah was speaking on Tuesday, 25th May 2021 at the launch of the People’s Democratic Organizations for Independence and Socialism manifesto titled “The Transformative Agenda” seeking to bring about a change of system to enable every person living in the Gambia to live a life of liberty, dignity and prosperity. The event brought together party members and supporters at the Kairaba Beach Hotel in Kololi.
“The system makes the people to feel hopeless, helpless, powerless and voiceless,” Sallah said.
The system change advocate took time to explain the PDOIS’ manifesto to the people touching different areas including agriculture, tourism, security sector and the territory of the country.
Halifa Sallah said each generation in a Republic has a political contract with nation and people. He added that it may fulfill the contract and be absolved by history or breach it and be indicted and condemned by History.
“This Transformative Agenda affirms our commitment to fulfill our contract to our nation and people in the context of our times,” he said.
He promised that a PDOIS led government would define the country’s border with Senegal. He said the Gambia is wealthy, but the people are still living in poverty.
“We are wealthy but we are hungry. Why? It is because we betray the contract [with nation and people] because of interest or ignorance,” he said.
He said a PDOIS Government is going to build a cooperative system.
He said: “For 56 years now, The Government did not have enough fund in the Consolidated Fund to finance our schools, build roads, hospitals, water system and other needs. They (Governmant) have to borrow (loan/grant) to be able to provide services to the people.
“We must be either borrower or beggars. The Constitution states we are sovereign. We have resources and still beg. The State we have relies on taxation, loan and aid. Every Gambian currently has a debt burden of D38,000 including a child yet to be born.
“The State must be a cooperative state that belongs to all of us. Instead of a consolidated fund, we are going to have a sovereign national wealth. We will build the productive base of our economy.
You own the sea, you own the land and you own the minerals. It must not be exploited at your own expense. It must be harnessed and developed in your own interest.”
He stressed that the Transformation Agenda emphasises that ‘we build the productive base of the economy’.
Sam Sarr, the Secretary to the party’s Information Bureau took time to call on Gambians to read to understand the PDOIS’ Transformative Agenda
“The PDOIS Transformative Agenda (TA 2021) has addressed the problems of our country,” Sarr said.
“We want to overcome poverty. We cannot continue to use back-breaking farm tools and implement. Mechanization of our agriculture is the way forward. TA 2021 provides solutions to our problems such as unemployment, and provides support to businesses.”
Read subsequent publications for more on the speeches delivered by the speakers and the Transformative Agenda of PDOIS.