Gambia: When Will Barrow Get It?


It appears that the presidency in Banjul is at standstill. Nothing of significance is happening. Development is stagnant. Maintaining the president’s image seems to be the only sellable agenda on the menu. Hence, some youths are being brainwashed to rally support behind the lame duck president.

Mr. Barrow needs to grow up and get to work. He has overtime become a liability to the presidency. The international goodwill that greeted this government will soon disappear. Banjul needs a serious and hardworking leader. The presidency is not all about showbiz.

The Gambia has been faced with developmental challenges. For example, the health sector, energy, national security, education, the collapsed economy, and infrastructure just to name a few are in deplorable conditions.

Mr. Barrow’s government lacks developmental priority. There is too much waste, greed and corruption creeping into this new administration. The electorate are now at the receiving end. They are suffering thanks to an inept leadership.

For Barrow to be taken seriously, he must restore dignity in the situation of governance in the country. You cannot accuse Jammeh of corruption, when your very administration is perpetrating it openly.

Your Finance Minister is a conflicted man. He is using the Ministry for quid pro purposes. There are so many backroom deals taking place at that Ministry. The recent awarding of half a million dalasi auditing contract to Minister Amadou Sanneh’s own auditing firm speaks volume.

At the Interior Ministry, ID Card and Passport issuance are being delayed thanks to the Ministry’s unilateral stance to side with a foreign biometric company without any formal tender for the project. Issues relating to government tender doesn’t falls within the purview of the Interior Ministry. But under your government, there is no decorum. There is no binding rule for accountability.

The privatization of the Banjul Port Expansion Project is still fresh in the minds of Gambians. Your office has interfered with the project by siding with a Chinese Construction Firm. Again, no formal tender has been publicized for the port expansion project.

Never in the history of our nation that a venue for the Commission of Inquiry to investigate your predecessor’s past financial activities, has been outsourced to a private hotel owned by the Deputy Chairman of the Electoral Commission.

Keep in mind that Jammeh has accused the IEC of rigging the elections including your humble self. How comes that the IEC, which should remain impartial in its operations is being patronized with contracts by the Justice Ministry? Malleh Sallah, the number two man at the IEC, who was a party to Jammeh’s election petition against the IEC, is being paid millions by the government to host the Janneh Commission. Yet, you expect Sallah to organize a credible Mayoral election scheduled sometime next year. This is absurd.

Your government’s move to patronize Malleh Sallah with a contract might give credence to Jammeh’s allegations that the IEC was colluding with the opposition to rig the December 1st 2016 presidential elections. It is too early for your government to engage in such unethical practice. If Mr. Sallah wants a contract for his hotel, from the government, he should resign from the Electoral Commission. He stands to be accused of being bought by the current dispensation. He has comprised his independence as the IEC Deputy Chairman.

It would be hard for The Gambia to realize her developmental agenda, when there are different forces working against it.  This is not what Gambians have voted for. Democratic institutions such as the IEC should be consolidated and not comprised by the Executive in power.

The stability of the Gambia cannot be traded with corruption and nepotism. The past political impasse should serve as a lesson to all and sundry. We cannot afford to have a government that uses institutions such as the electoral Commission for political gerrymandering.

The Justice Minister should know better. It is not only unethical to contract the Deputy Chairman of the IEC to host a government constituted Commission, to investigate Jammeh’s past financial crimes, it is also a mockery to Gambia’s new-found democracy. 

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