Gambian president Adama Barrow has accepted a fleet of cars as a gift from a donor, said to be a “supporter of the president” who doesn’t want his identity to be disclosed to the Gambian taxpayers. The donor wants to remain anonymous, according to Amie Bojang Sissoho, the Director of press at the State House during a press briefing on Thursday. The president in turn donated the vehicles to the country’s Member of Parliament—sparking national debate as to whether Barrow’s “unethical conduct” is not an impeachable offence per the Gambian 1997 Constitution. The Constitution bares the president from receiving gift that might seek to influence his office or cause a disrepute to the seal of the presidency.
Almost all the MPS in parliament accepted the so called president’s cars gift, with the exception of the PDOIS MPS. The PDOIS representatives in Parliament declined the cars allocated to them by the office of the president.
Speaking to the press, Ms. Sissoho said the cars that were given to the MPS came from a supporter of President Barrow. Although she wouldn’t disclose the president’s supporter’s name saying, “the philanthropist, who made the donation doesn’t want his name to be disclosed.” She said similar donations were extended to the GRTS—the state broadcaster. The vehicles were presented to GRTS by the Director General of The Gambia Revenue Authority Yankuba Darboe.
The last time we checked, the Barrow government was legitimately elected into office by Gambians. In this new Gambia, Barrow’s Press Secretary is saying that private donations made to the president is off limits as far as the electorate who voted Barrow into office. Sad, right? Absurd, right?
President Adama Barrow’s lack of civic education and wisdom as a president is not an excuse for his blatant disregard for the constitution. His conduct is illegal, as far as our laws are concerned.
It is not the business of the president to accept gifts privately or publicly in the name of the country. Since we are yet to be told the so called donor of the 57 vehicles that were given to the MPS, one can safely argue that Barrow and his donor stand to be accused of buying off the Legislative branch of government.
It was wrong on the part of the MPS to accept a gift from the president without knowing its source. This clearly tells you about the quality of leadership we had in this country. It is sad that our MPS are that desperate to accept vehicles from the president without conducting due diligence about the source of the donation. This means that anything can now pass at the National Assembly regardless of its substance or legality.
The Speaker Mariam Denton was at the forefront of heaping praises for the president and his government when the vehicles were presented to the MPS. No wonder, that’s why she is presiding over a dysfunctional National Assembly. The quality of our Legislative branch shocks!