TALKING POINT FOR SUNDAY’S LERAL SHOW!

President Adama Barrow will be in the United States in two-weeks time to attend the United Nations General Assembly Summit. He is going to be accompanied by a sizable delegation. This would be Mr. Barrow’s second trip to the UN, since he was elected into office back in December of 2016.

It is public knowledge that The Gambia is at crossroads. The transition government, which promised to usher in democratic reforms; checks and balances in government and prioritizing national development, has been consumed by power struggle and individualistic economic aggrandizement at the expense of poor Gambia.

The transition period was supposed to be an era of championing corrective democratic processes that will save the Republic called The Gambia, from not returning to the old dark days of Jammeh’s dictatorship. It was meant to set the solid groundwork for Barrow’s successor post transition period to usher in a new dispensation after the decade long turbulent Jammeh misrule.

To the contrary, the transition period has been used by dishonest politicians to pursue their own political agendas at the detriment of the nation. This is evident on their open struggle for power; material world; and wealth.

Two years into his Presidency, Adama Barrow, hasn’t demonstrated any desire to handover power after the three years transition he agreed with his colleagues in the Coalition government. Instead, he has embarked on power consolidation—with the birth of his Youth Movement; his wife’s Foundation; and the comeback of the former Jammeh enablers.

Mr. Barrow has derailed the transition period. He has put his political agenda ahead of national interest. This will no doubt have a long-term political ramification as far as the health of our new found democracy is concerned.

Gambia’s developmental partners, including political observers on the ground will tell you that this was not the type of reform agenda, that they expected post Jammeh rule. The so-called security reform is a total failure. There are no realistic plans to reform our discredited security agencies.

Mr. Barrow is relying heavily on Senegal to help shape the security of the nation—forgetting that no country can claim sovereignty if it doesn’t have faith and confidence in her men and women in uniform.

Security reform is sacrosanct as far as our short term and long-term democratic gains are concerned. The regime is failing in this sector.

The media is often referred to as the forth estate. Barrow’s government hasn’t signaled any indication to suggest that it is interested in scrapping some of the draconian laws in our books. All we kept hearing from Barrow, is that a new constitution is being drafted. Though, there is no certainty if the regime will live up to its promise of scrapping some of those bad laws.

The much talked about electoral reform is a forgotten conclusion. The new constitutional draft is out to disenfranchise Gambian youngsters interested in becoming a President. The draft being flooded suggests that the minimum age for the Presidency is 45 years. It has been increased from 30 years to 45 years. Such a constitutional provision should not be allowed to pass the test of time. It is discriminatory. The draft will be subject to referendum before its actualization.

The United States being the baston of democracy, hasn’t stipulated such a draconian qualification for the Presidency.  Nothing has changed as far as the educational qualification for aspiring Presidents.

That said, it is apparent that President Adama Barrow is going to part company with the United Democratic Party. The party that claims ownership of Mr. Barrow. The party, which defended Mr. Barrow’s betrayal of his coalition partners.

Ousainou Darboe, the new lame duck Vice President, is on record for having defended Mr. Barrow’s quest to stay in power for five years. He even threatens to sue Barrow if he decides to backout from his constitutional mandate to serve for five years.

As it is often said: Kama is a bitch. Mr. Darboe’s desire to succeed Barrow after the five years constitutional mandate is now becoming a wishful dream. Mr. Barrow’s desire to self perpetuate himself in power is causing confusion with the Grand UDP Party.

The Presidency is sweet in Africa. Very few people can honor their promise when it comes to relinquishing power. Adama Barrow is not one of those principled leaders. He is going to use the might of the incumbency to run for a second term. And this will lead to the collapse of the UDP, as a political party. We rest our case.

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