Gambia: President Barrow’s Power Excesses Is Worrisome!

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President Adama Barrow and his delegation are expected back home in the next couple of hours. They have just finished performing Hajj.

Upon his return to Banjul, Barrow will be greeted by a displaced nation. The rains have rendered many displaced; after destroying homes, properties, and other valuables.

The Vice president overseer in her Tobaski speech, never mention the plight of the flood victims. Her speech revolves around the need for national unity, respect for the individual, and political tolerance. She also spoke against tribalism, and polarizing statements that might undermine the country’s peace and stability.

Adama Barrow should demonstrate that he can lead Gambians. He has been found wanting in many fronts: His total disregard for the constitution speaks volume. Mr. Barrow is yet to fulfill his constitutional obligation to appoint a Vice President.

Second, Mr. Barrow seems to be ignorant about universally cherished democratic norms such as separation of powers; checks and balances; and respect for the rule of law.

Eight months into his presidency, Mr. Barrow is behaving as if he is the Gambian state. For example, he has authorized the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) to use taxpayers money to buy vehicles for our elected representatives in Parliament. Procurement of government vehicles is not the role of GRA. It falls under the purview of the Ministry of Finance or agencies responsible for procurement within the government.

It is a known fact that GRA under the leadership of Yankuba Darboe, Alhagie Denton, and Ensa Jallow, was Yahya Jammeh’s financial basket. GRA was used by Jammeh to pay salaries, to fund his extravagant lifestyle, and other illegal activities.

Like Jammeh, the unconventional Gambian rookie president Barrow also thinks that institutions such as the GRA belongs to the president’s office. He can use taxpayers funds without been held accountable.

Mr. Barrow should understand that the GRA is a mess! If he can collude with the likes of Yankuba Darboe and co to lavishly swindle taxpayers funds is disturbing Gambia. The president’s wants to spin the story as if the source of the vehicles given to the MPS came from president Barrow, when in reality it’s taxpayers’ money.

Thirdly, Mr. Barrow should restore some degree of decorum and credibility into his government. Culture of corruption is gaining ground in the new administration.

The Saudi sponsored Hajj package was hijacked by the Executive. Even the Chief Justice of the Gambia Assan Jallow benefited from it. This clearly tells you that our democracy is being threatened by sheer greed.

On a final note, we hope Barrow will work with his colleagues to help the flood victims. Gambians want a president, who can lead and not a lame duck spectator president. We rest our case.  

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