Music promoter, disco-jokey, and TV anchor Lamin Cham of the Champion Sounds Production, has expressed his disdain and total outrage at the new regime’s plans to spend D30 million dalasi to cater for president Adama Barrow’s inauguration scheduled for February, 18th. Mr. Cham in a Facebook video, called on the organizers of the vent to reconsider their decision.
“I am here to vent my anger. There is something happening in this country which angered me for real. Please play the soundbite of President Adama Barrow’s welcome reception from Senegal. Now you have seen the video. Gambians thronged the streets in their hundreds and thousands. No one was paid them to welcome Barrow. People voluntarily showed up in the streets to welcome president Barrow,” said Mr. Cham.
“The recent change of leadership is for all of us. We want to see president Adama Barrow and the government to be able to pursue their developmental goals. But the news we are hearing is disturbing to say the least. That the inaugural ceremony of President Barrow is going to cost the state between D25 million dalasi, D28 million dalasis to D30 million dalasis. That really upsets me. I am really appalled. The truth be told, president Adama Barrow is not privy to what is going on. We never heard of an expenditure of D30 million dalasi for the hosting of an occasion at the independence stadium. This is absurd. This is the new Gambia. We cannot afford such exorbitant fanfare expenditure. The former government which was here onetime celebrated 5o years Golden jubilee, and there was nothing like such expensive expenditure. The highest expenditure was D4 million dalasi. In some occasions, people get arrested, detained at the NIA, and fired because such expenses. The former government often complains that such expenses were just too much. Now in this new Gambia, we are spending D30 million dalasis just to host an inaugural ceremony at the stadium,” Mr. Cham added.
Mr. Cham called for judicious management of state resources. He said such funds should be used to provide drugs, and beds for our hospitals. He cited an incident at the Brikama Health Center, where he said babies in some occasions would drop from the table while maternal delivery.
“I think we have more pressing national developmental matters to take care of than spending millions on president Barrow’s inauguration. The inauguration should be a low-key affair. Students, chiefs, and regional leaders should be invited to grace the occasion. That’s all we need,” he said.
The transition government could not be reached for their own side of the story.