As though epidemics and pandemics are not man invented circumstances; just as life and death – it is a natural phenomena that no one person should be hold ransom to mitigate. Hence, leadership is an integral player here. Leadership is not a position, it is a responsibility. To be a leader is not to be in charge but taking charge of the led and most importantly, to be a leader is to sacrifice so that others survive. Other than the volunteers in the streets raising awareness, there isn’t an iota of play by the country’s leader. It is a common adage that “failing to plan, is planning to fail”. A living proof of this statement is our status quo regarding Covid-19. Hence, the Gambia government fails to plan, by providing the proper mechanisms to confront Coronavirus outbreak in the country, we find ourselves in an uncertain reality of Covid-19 spreading in the Gambia. The death of a Covid-19 carrier who’d been reported to had interactions with other Gambians during his visit; more so, the flight passengers who refused to be quarantine at the Banjul International Airport, as well as those that escaped quarantine at Golden Beach Hotel, is enough a testimony as how unprepared our government is.
As contagious as Covid-19 is, and knowing fully well how not well-equipped our health care delivery system is, why haven’t our President and his government make it a key priority agenda when Covid-19 was declared a global pandemic, to invest robustly into the health sector to boost its strength amid a global pandemic? instead, like always, he and his government trivialize the whole matter of Covid-19, until we’re hit. In hindsight, I am not insinuating that the virus could have been avoided reaching Gambia, (viruses know no border) what I am saying is that, there should have been measures already in place, such as quarantine spots and testing labs to mitigate an outbreak and chaotic uncertainties as apparently.
It is not always about money when there’s crisis of such nature; masses need to feel the presence, the impact and care of their leaders to find solace, hope and comfort. These things cannot be equate to money. Money does not buy everything.
To cut to the chase, whatever the outcome of Covid-19 pandemic maybe, I hope that Gambians will make an inform choice as to ‘whether President Adama Barrow should be given any slight chance again, to lead this country’. And I am not going to try to explain this statement, rather I entreat us all to ponder over it and make our own conclusions. Because this country needs a leader, not only a president and a government but a pragmatic and selfless leader.
Since Covid-19 was declared a global pandemic by WHO, we have seen how leaders across the globe step up with their governments to tame the spread of novel Coronavirus (Covid-19). I have seen and listen to the leaders of Africa, Europe & America take major strides in fighting Covid-19, except the leader of the Gambia, who is just disinterested in the health of Gambians as it appears. Away from the long meditated verbose speech he delivered, what else? When Ghana’s leaders, Rwanda, Senegal, Germany, England and the unpopular Donald Trump are on the front line daily with their health experts to devise means in combating Covid-19.
About that, one may argue, the five hundred million is a timely intervention, and of course, it is. But It is not always about money when there’s crisis of such nature; masses need to feel the presence, the impact and care of their leaders to find solace, hope and comfort. These things cannot be equate to money. Money does not buy everything. Talk to your people as a leader, be responsive – these are desperate times, solidarity works best than anything else. So why could not you break the vicious circle of self aggrandizement and put yourself in their shoes. Imagine, since the wake of this global pandemic; no consolation from the Presidency, no no show of concern and empathy, unlike many other presidents of countries hit by the virus (even those not hit). What kind of a leader does that?
Disgustingly, despite Government’s three arms of the most powerful communication institutions in the Gambia, (The ministry of Information, Communications and Infrastructure, Office of government’s Spokesperson and State House Press Secretary) reliable and relevant information about the status of Covid-19 remain scarce to many yet, speculations and rumors overrule the media.
One thing came clear, a deficient leadership always manifests it’s real colors in trying times like Covid-19 pandemic. As this is when the masses need support, camaraderie, solidarity and fulfillment of duties from their leaders. Times like this, we expect extraordinary leadership outputs as Covid-19 is an extraordinary crisis. To our dismay, this is when the leadership of this country showcases it’s worst.
Indeed, unfortunate is a nation without a leader, and I have no doubt Covid-19 will left us with great lessons. These aren’t limited to the havoc it have & continue to do, but humanity itself will never be the same. Things would never be same; neither panic nor paranoid. Be not distress or break into anxiety, for this one too will pass. Let’s just cross our hearts and pray fervently.
MAY HUMANITY FIND EASE IN RECOVERING FROM COVID-19’s HAVOC!
In the mean time, stay safe and follow WHO Covid-19 preventive measures:
- Wash your hands with Soap regularly
- Avoid Large crowds
- Avoid Hand shakes
- If you feel unwell, call your health care provider
- STAY AT HOME