Banjul – As we mourn the tragic accident that has claimed the lives of over 50 young souls off the coast of Mauritania, on behalf of the Peoples Progressive Party, PPP and myself, I extend my sincere condolence to the families of the departed and The Gambian people.

However, several questions remain unanswered, of recent years, how were the funds injected by the European Union to tackled illegal backway migration utilized? Has there been any significant impact on curbing this phenomenon? Did the Government of The Gambia use the opportunity to transform the lives of the youth? Are the current policies on youth empowerment and employment working?

It has also been alleged that the capsized boat is one of several boats that left from Barra, North Bank Region, where were the security officers when this was taking place? And why has no consequent action been taken?

While we wait for these questions to be answered I call for a National Dialogue to engage the youth and strategize on effective and impactful policies and programs which will have long lasting results in giving the youth hope.

As we go through these trying times, let us remember to pray for their forgiveness and acceptance into Jannah by the Almighty and pray for the families to have the strength to bear the loss and the community of Barra to be granted the fortitude to cope with a loss of such magnitude.

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