By Yankuba Jallow
The People’s Democratic Organisations for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS) party has concluded its nationwide campaign tour in the North Bank Region, Upper River Region and Central River Region North.
The party, which is calling for “System Change” and campaigning for the eradication of poverty, injustice and ignorance, will continue its campaign in Central River Region South, Lower River Region and West Coast Region.
Halifa Sallah, the Presidential Candidate for PDOIS, has promised the people that a their-led government will end rural and household poverty, as they intend to build a Cooperative State and establish a Cooperative Bank that will provide support to people in their various endeavours to help improve their production and earning capacity. He said every human kind is born to live a life of liberty, dignity and prosperity.
The veteran politician cum lawmaker, promised to end unemployment in the country, saying their-led government will build factories for processing, help enhance and improve the earning capacity of the people, improve the education and health status of the country, build affordable and quality homes, and ensure The Gambia becomes a food self-sufficient country. He said their government will ensure that the resources of the State are harnessed and utilised to promote the general welfare of Gambians.
“PDOIS manifesto propagates how poverty would he arod by relying on the law of balanced and proportionate development of all sectors of society,” Sallah said while addressing the people of Manduar and Galoyaa in the Kombo Central, Mandinary in the Kombo North and Jambajelly in Kombo South.
The PDOIS leader is doing a face-to-face meeting with the people discussing his party’s Transformative Agenda which seeks to eradicate poverty, injustice and ignorance in the country. The aforementioned agenda also aims to accelerate the building of a self-reliant and self-determined economic base to ensure poverty eradication and sustainable people centred socio-economic development.
“The PDOIS Transformative Agenda shows how production based welfare would be linked to consumption based welfare. This will enable individual income and community income to rise proportionately to facilitate availability and affordability of food, safe drinking water, sanitation, clothing, housing and renewable energy of adequate quantity and quality to promote general welfare of both rural and urban dwellers,” Sallah said.
Households and the rural village and urban wards would serve as the epicentre and drivers for poverty eradication, according to Sallah. He added that the household income and community income would be enhanced by support received from the Cooperative Bank to engage in productive ventures without incurring any interest.
“The national budget would be regionally shared to provide each region with funds to allocate to regional and district treasury accounts managed by regional councils and district councils. Such treasuries will provide equalisation grants to villages to ensure balanced, proportionate and sustainable community development,” he said.
“The Cooperative State will promote consumption-based welfare by providing free education with bus services. The universal free education programme would be further complemented by maintaining a national service of one year for each graduate before moving to the next level.”
Sallah promised to improve the infrastructure of the country, saying the provision of electricity, water and other services are indispensable to development. He added that construction of roads must be linked with proper drainage, sewerage and waste management schemes to complement development.
Relying on the law of balanced and proportionate development, Sallah said a PDOIS-led administration will enlarge the productive base in all regions of the country, on the basis of cooperation; expand and utilise appropriate technology to develop the productive forces in order to harness their fullest potential by marching them with the requisite means of production, in order to build a self-reliant economy.
Sidia Jatta, the National Assembly Member (NAM) for Wuli West, said the policies and programmes of the past and current governments of the country have failed to address poverty and social degradation of the people and their communities.
Jatta said a PDOIS-led government will eradicate their poverty and give them a life of liberty, dignity and prosperity as well as transform the agricultural sector and ensure that there are factories for processing so that Gambia exports and earns foreign exchange. Those factories will also employ so many Gambians, he added.
The Gambian NAM said The Gambia could not develop because the government relies heavily on taxation, grant and loan to implement its programmes.
He explained that this is not sustainable and a PDOIS-led government would invest in the productive base to expand production, create jobs and manufacture goods thereby creating jobs and attracting foreign exchange.
Suwaibou Touray, National Assembly Member (NAM) for Wuli East, said the trade deficit in the Gambia is huge, thus there should be transformation. Touray said the productive base of the country must be expanded in order to realise growth. He said there is a high unemployment rate in the Gambia especially among graduates.
“The problems of the country in terms of unemployment, the economy, health and education should be addressed,” he said.