SA Jarjou

Reference is invited from the article published on The Point newspaper on Wednesday, December 20, 2017 captioned: “NaYConF as a huge waste of resources”. “Left to me alone NaYConF should not be a weeklong event, but only two days where youths can come together and discuss issues affecting their development to avoid waste of resources,”

I was very staggered, flabbergasted, bowled over, perturbed and provoked beyond all human endurance as a Gambian youth, when I read a nasty, hateful, malicious, malevolent comment by the Governor of Upper River Region, Fatou Jammeh-Touray with the intention of tarnishing the image of NaYCONF in order to suppress the voice of the youth.

According to Lamin Darboe, the Executive Director of National Youth Council “the biennial event, NaYCONF is meant to bring young people from all over the country and beyond to share their experiences and dilate on issues that affect their lives. The theme for NaYCONF 2017 is “New Gambia: Challenges and Opportunities for youth”. Is the Governor saying that the event is of no importance to the welfare and the advancement of the youth?

The last time I checked this year’s NaYCONF event was poorly managed as a result of inadequate accommodation and food which you are to be blame since was held in your region.

Governor I doubt if you were scrutinize as per your leadership skills and educational background before given this position. Please be informed that a leader who treat the youth of her nation badly is an agent of   conflict and a threat to peace at large. The youth are the future leaders therefore they need to be supported to realize and achieve their dream as it is the only way we can make our country great.

As a good leader since you knew that the event was a waste of resources. You could have took the floor to address the issue and gave recommendations for further events.  Leadership is the ability to provide direction, implementing plans, and motivating people.

Please be reminded that leaders help themselves and others to do the right things and at the right time in an effective and efficient manner. They set direction, build an inspiring vision, and create something new. Leadership is about mapping out where you need to go to “win” as a team or an organization; and it is dynamic, exciting, and inspiring.

Yet, while leaders set the direction, they must also use management skills such as good organization, time management, interpersonal and relationship-building skills, delegation, forward-planning and strategy, communication, problem-solving, administrative and financial skills to guide their people to the right destination where they want to be, in a smooth and efficient way.

I think you really need to be schooled as per the aims and objectives of such an event in order not to repeat your mistake again. In another note I will advise you not to respond to a question that you don’t understand as such will rick your leadership.

NaYCONF is special in its work as a champion for young people, empowering them to participate in decision-making processes. As young people will be the ones living with the decisions made today, they should help shape them but with leaders like you I doubt if such will be a reality?

Youth conference provides us with a platform in which we can discuss together, openly and frankly, the many realities, challenges and opportunities facing young people in today. Young people are the future of The Gambia let us take this opportunity to work together and build a future for a Gambia we want that embraces and empowers all young people.

The conference plays an important role in strengthening youth advocacy and engagement efforts. It is also a time for the young people of The Gambia to come together as a team, share knowledge, and benefit from the rich diversity that makes The Gambia the last place of hope on earth.

In conclusion, Madam Governor, I hereby request for you to apologies to the Gambian youth so we can recognize you as part of our leaders. It is believed that young people are, not future leaders but present. And as leaders they are capable of not only taking smart decisions about their future but also being the driving force to deal with challenges currently faced by the world at large.

By: Saidina Alieu Jarjou

Political Activist