Youth leaders have urged the Gambia government to institute a panel of investigation that will look into recent corruption allegations levied on some senior government officials and public institutions. This development came in the wake of the publishing of a document bearing the official letterhead of the ministry of youth and sports purportedly requesting for the allocation of huge per diem to the sports minister Henry Gomez and his permanent secretaries. The minister has inspired a backlash against Barrow’s government for excessive travel expenses and per diem-mongering. He was slammed for attempting to brazenly milk taxpayers dry after he requested for D277, 494 as per diem for a trip to Azerbaijan and Poland respectively.
Many youth leaders in the country have since taken to social media to express their shock and discontent against the minister’s demand for such a whopping sum given the fact that the government continues to report to Gambians that it is still faced with numerous financial challenges and has since taking over in January last year been seeking for financial support all over the world in order to fix the national budget deficit.
Reacting on his timeline Youth leader Lamin K. Saidy said “We are not saying it is true but government must show commitment by instituting a panel of investigation. If Dr. Ceesay and Mamma Kandeh can be questioned for just speaking out, why is the state ignoring allegations of Corruption (scandals) from senior officials and various public institutions???? We are sick of it”.
Weighing in on the saga Baboucarr Kebbeh who serves as an executive member at the national youth council said “We need financial discipline at this period in our national development. Every penny counts. Not sure it’s actually in line with financial approval regulations? Please investigate!”
For Bakary Badjie “The truth is that the Executive has not taken control of the different institutions under them, rather they seem to be operating a hands free type of leadership. From the allegations at NAWEC by that Jatta with compelling facts to now SSHFC, and unbelievably the youth and sport minister’s per diem issue, one would’ve expected actions to be taken. If President Barrow is serious about not condoning corruption, he should set examples otherwise, we should brace up for a return of rampant corruption in government institutions”.
Sidi Sanneh a former government minister and retired economist wrote “These abuses must stop. The country is BROKE and thus can’t least afford such budgetary shenanigans, time to investigate!”
Meanwhile, the saga between the Managing Director of Social Security and Housing Finance Cooperation and his staff continues. They allege he is not fit to lead the institution and accused him of giving favors to inexperience staff and not does who really deserve to be given opportunity. He continues to deny these allegations and warned that those who are not interested in serving the institution in the interest of the country may make use of the exit door.