Demba is not OK—Demba is SUPERB
I think the Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) missed a Golden opportunity last weekend when its members rejected the leadership of former Vice President Bakary Darboe. Who better to steer our country’s government and economy than him–at this critical juncture of our history? Well, maybe Sir Dawda! But he is not in a good physical shape to enable him to run a country. You never know! Mahathir Mohammed of Malaysia has made a political comeback, at the tender age of 92. Laugh!!!!!!
I mentioned this in my previous posting and will mention it here—Again: Sir Dawda, Bakary Darboe, Sheriff Sisay, Jabez Langley, and Sarra Janha were instrumental in the economic prosperity of the Gambia, in the second half of the PPP government’s era (1982-1994). With Sir Dawda out of the picture, and former Finance Minister Sheriff Sisay and former Secretary General Jabez Langley dead, that leaves only Bakary Darboe, and Sarra Janha (who is a technocrat, not a politician). Sir Dawda and his gang liberalised the economy through the Economic Recovery Programme (ERP), headed by Professor Mcpherson of the University of Michigan; and the removal of price controls, ushered in prosperity, the likes of which, the Gambia had never seen. The ERP did cause pain to the laid off civil servants, but it brought about the necessary streamlining of the government and the economy.
Bakary Darboe served honourably at various senior levels of the government: from District Commissioner to Deputy Manager at Commercial Bank, to Ambassador to Senegal, to Vice President, and Ministers of Finance/Education. He does not need an “on the job training”; he knows his way around the corridors of power at the World Bank, IMF, UN, EU, ADB, ECOWAS, AU (you name it) institutions that will be crucial in providing funding and expertise, for the necessary projects, to fight unemployment. Some of the bureaucrats he built relationships with during his tenure in government are still working at these institutions. Relationships matter!
Another repeat of what I mentioned in a previous posting: our viability as a country hinges very much on our relationship with Senegal. That is our fate! It is called “Geography”. Senegal surrounds us on 3 out of 4 sides. Unless we form a country in the inhospitable Sahara Desert between Mali and Algeria, or between Niger and Libya, we are stuck with Senegal, and should, therefore, have a cordial relationship with her. As a former Gambian Ambassador to Senegal, Bakary Darboe can nurture our relationship with Senegal better than any Gambian. Uh! And don’t forget, he speaks fluent French/Wollof, vital in dealing with the Senegalese leadership.
Bakary Darboe is also a unifying candidate that various sections of the Gambian society can rally around. Last but not least, Mr. Darboe is experienced, educated, and honest, the criteria we need in our future leaders.