Dear Pa,

Please allow me space in your esteemed paper to remind the members of the think tank committee that they have been selected to help facilitate the development and reform agenda of the UDP government that hijacked the election victory and made it a UDP victory. Gambians went to the polls and elected a Coalition government of 7 political parties and an independent candidate led by Adama Barrow.

The change that Gambians voted for is not a government where all the key positions in the civil, public, diplomatic and security services have to be filled by Jarrankas, Nuiminkas or UDP party members but every Gambian who took the time and voted in 2016 wanted an all-inclusive government that can unite the country and put national interest first. That is why today not many people are happy with the government of Adama Barrow, why the euphoria that followed his victory is waning fast and why also the popular theme ‘ #Gambia Has Decided’ is fading in thin air. 

The people have been thrown into a perpetual state of confusion by the ineffective leadership style of Adama Barrow and nobody knows who is calling the shots within his government. We have a president who refuses to occupy the official seat of power in the nation’s capital currently abdicating his presidential responsibilities, a women affairs minister who believes that ECOWAS intervened and forced Jammeh out of power because of her cries and so the position of Vice President is rightfully hers even if she is above constitutional age limit, and a party leader who is bent on empowering his tribal and party associates in preparation for his elevation to the highest office in the land when he will rule this country forever. 

The betrayal of Mr. Halifa Sallah and other prominent members of the Coalition 2016 should provide a useful lesson to all the 19 members of the body that their expertise and ideas are only needed for a purpose- to help develop a blue print for the UDP-led government of Adama Barrow. Their work will only reduce the task of pursuing well thought-out policy formulation by a team of hungry politicians increasingly unconnected with the wish of the people. Please don’t allow yourself to be used. This government is heavily politicized with too few ideas to allow for critically unbiased intellectual thinking. 

There is obviously a power vacuum and unless President is ready to lead this country, any policy direction created for his government by the think tank members will surely become dysfunctional.

A Concerned Gambian

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