By Landing Ceesay
President Adama Barrow challenged his critics in the diaspora to return home and join him in developing the Gambia, instead of ‘spoiling’ the country’s name.
“Before you will be in the diaspora spoiling the name of your country. Every day you are saying bad things. Every day you are making people scared. Why not come back to the country? We work and develop this nation, because no one will develop this country for us apart from us the Gambians,” he challenged.
He said he was in The United Kingdom [UK] but came back to work for his country and many other Gambians who were living in other countries came back home to develop The Gambia.
“I was in the UK but I came back…and there were other people who were living in other countries [who] came back to develop this country. So, you people should stop talking and come back. We work together and develop this country because that’s the reality,” Barrow urged critics.
President Barrow made these remarks in New Yundum at the official inauguration of 50 tractors and accessories for the Ministry of Agriculture. The tractors given to the government by Japan are meant to support Gambian farmers to enhance their farming and increase productivity.
While addressing the gathering on Monday, the Gambian President said there were lots of tractors in the Gambia but the way these tractors will be managed will be different from the previous ones.
“We want to have organized groups who will sign a memorandum with the government so that the tractors can be maintained and people can have their service normally without politics, because these tractors belong to every Gambian,” the President assured.
Barrow said he discussed with the citizens during the 2020 ‘meet the people tour’ that for the Gambia to go forward, there is a need to make efforts on farming.
“After touring the country in 2020, I discussed with the Gambians and we all agreed that in order for the Gambia to go forward we must use all our efforts on farming. Without farming, this country cannot develop, that’s why I promised Gambians that I will support farming; and the type of farming in this country will change. Before, people only farmed for feeding, but also to get money as well. That’s why we want to give them good farm machines and farm implements. So that farmers can cultivate more farmland to get feeding for their families but also to get money for their other needs. That’s why we brought these tractors for farmers to cultivate more farmlands,” President Barrow stated.
President Barrow further stated that he will allow those talking to continue talking and those working to continue to work; saying he believed that only work can develop a country, and it is only work that will take the Gambia forward.
“It is important to note further that not only did the Government give loans to farmers for ploughing services, but also reduced the cost by thirty percent [30%]. Appreciatively, the MoU operations and maintenance arrangement has yielded over One Million, Seven Hundred Thousand Dalasis [D1.7 million] within these two months, with much efficiency and customer satisfaction. The profits realized will be utilized to procure more equipment to give organized youth cooperatives and other private players matching grants or loan models,” Barrow stated.