How much is Gambia to spend on celebrations this year?

The July 22 festivities are on. The APRC, as a party, is gathering together its stalwarts to participate in the ceremonies and to promote the party. How national in focus is the celebration needs to be subjected to objective assessment.

It is very clear that the event is an AFPRC/APRC centred commemoration. This is the danger of staying in power for decades. The past and the present become one and indistinguishable. The multi party essence of democratic governance becomes irrelevant. The culture of one party state becomes evident. Building a personality cult around the leader also becomes evident.

Gambians need to take stock and ask themselves how it is possible to have only two presidents after 51 years of attainment of the right to self-determination. They should also ask themselves whether the second president is also to go for another 30 years or even more if vision 2025 is to be taken seriously.

This is not a time to celebrate. It is time to take stock of what type of Gambia and Gambian leadership the Gambian people genuinely want.

Those who cannot speak truth to power should at least speak truth to their pillow cases when they are not under the watch of anyone.

In terms of assessment of the expenditures on the current commemoration, the National Assembly members should be able to ask how much state money has been utilized to finance the commemoration.

However, what is as clear as noonday is that the executive and the National Assembly had endorsed the allocation of 65 million dalasi of state resources for national celebrations.