The Chronicle Gambia

Dr Ismaila Ceesay To Gov’t – “Breakdown COVID-19 Expenses, Tell Us About Vaccine”

Addressing his 3rd monthly press briefing, the Citizens’ Alliance presidential candidate Dr. Ismaila Ceesay, has questioned the Government of The Gambia’s seriousness in fighting the coronavirus pandemic, as compared to standard responses around the world. The C.A leader said the Gambian authorities directly concerned with the national response are still quiet on the COVID-19 vaccination, which he described as “sad and disappointing”.

Gambia should be talking about the COVID-19 vaccines now, countries like Senegal have received 20,000 doses from China; many countries did too. What is our government doing for us to get the vaccine”, Dr. Ceesay queried.

As an evidence of his direct charge to the President, Dr. Ceesay said Adama Barrow’s administration and his government have been the lead violators of all the COVID-19 rules decreed in The Gambia when Barrow held a giant political jamboree to launch his party. “There is no preventive strategy to prepare for the second wave of coronavirus”, Dr. Ceesay charged.

On the issue of the COVID-19 funds management, Dr. Ceesay said a lot of money came into The Gambia to fight the coronavirus pandemic. He revealed that a total of D850 million relief package was allocated for the vulnerable communities with D750 million allocated to the ministry of health. And the government also contributed D100 million to the World Bank D10 million for purchase of medical equipment from Turkey.

But this government has refused to transparently reveal the breakdown of expenditure on food aid and allocation to the health ministry, quarantine to hotels and on everything the COVID-19 money was spent on”, the C.A leader charged.

According to Dr. Ismaila Ceesay, the government only revealed bulk expenditure and to him, “that cannot tell Gambians how much money was spent and on what”.

With a new outbreak of Ebola epidemic in Guinea Conakry, Dr. Ceesay said the government should work on a strategy to make sure that the outbreak does not enter into Gambia. “This government is not serious about fighting COVID-19 talk more of Ebola”, he added.

Dr. Ceesay also spoke on the recent Transparency International annual Corruption index report in which The Gambia was ranked 102 least corrupt nations out of 180 countries.

We have dropped from 96 to102 in just 2years”, Dr. Ceesay fumed.  He said there has not been any improvement as far as corruption indicators are concerned. He added that the Transparency International recent report presents a very gloomy picture of corruption in The Gambia with the country being ranked among the most corrupt countries in the world.

He accused the Barrow administration of being very corrupt in all their dealings since his administration took office in 2017. “Nothing is put in place to this day to fight corruption by Barrow’s administration”, Dr. Ceesay added.

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