Dr. Ismaila Ceesay, the leader of Citizens Alliance Party (CA) has opined that the government from the onset, “disastrously” failed to tackle the virus despite a head start and so much goodwill. He added that there was a lack of a clear and comprehensive strategy to respond to the pandemic, thus calling for unity against the deadly virus.
“The quarantine process is not well planned and fraught with weaknesses. If there was any response, it was politicised. Alarm bells were raised when the newly appointed COVID-19 coordinator resigned. For a government and a responsible foresighted leadership in waiting, we cannot sit and turn a blind eye to a failure in the current leadership whilst Gambians die,” the party said in a release dispatch.
“Citizens Alliance on April 23rd of this year called for a press conference, where we expressed our heartfelt sorrow and disappointment towards the Government’s handling of a common enemy, known as COVID-19. Today that concern is one of our realities, a reality that is evident by an unprecedented surge in cases and number of reported deaths.”
Gambians, the party said, are responsible people, but that responsible behaviour can only be led and guided by a well committed and a know-how leadership. “Anything less of a leadership that knows how to navigate the dire circumstances we are peddling in, would only lead to more deaths.”
According to CA Party, like the rest of the World, COVID 19 has been and still remains public enemy number one in The Gambia. It has derailed our plans and day-to-day functions and, in its path, has further exacerbated our already fragile healthcare system, economy and society as a whole.”
“In the face of this crisis however, there seems to be a lack of leadership at a time we need it most. Bold, decisive and effective leadership. Leadership at every level. In times of crises like these, the people yearn for leadership, one that can inspire hope and calm and communicate.”
“We have had at least 5 months since the first SOE to prepare for today, but yet still, the failure to plan and the mismanagement and corruption that plagued the COVID 19 response has brought us to where we are today.”
Despite efforts by the government and various stakeholders, they added, the sudden spike in the number of positive tests and deaths over the past week has been quite alarming. “Healthcare workers are being infected, the facilities set up to deal with the Coronavirus have been put under immense strain, local transmission has rapidly increased and it is getting increasingly difficult to conduct proper contact tracing.”
This has necessitated new guidelines for social distancing and a mandatory mask policy by the government – evidence of how dire the situation is.
“The party is gravely concerned that our entire healthcare system will be overrun with very little resistance. With this very scary but real possibility in mind, we believe that it is time for us to come together, bring our resources – human, technical and material – together, to support our government’s efforts to deal with this virus.”