The former Secretary General and Presidential Affairs Minister Momodou Sabally, has argued that former President Yahya Jammeh has better leadership qualities than President Adama Barrow, when it comes to the handling of the country’s health sector. Sabally maintains that Jammeh’s leadership role cannot be compared with Adama Barrow, a man, he branded as an accidental clueless President. “Barrow cannot be compared with Jammeh when it comes to efficient leadership. It is like one comparing apples and oranges. Jammeh was a leader to the core, when it comes to the handling of the health sector, among others. The two are incomparable. If it was not the arrests, executions, and other rights violations associated with him, no one dares compare Barrow with Jammeh,” Sabally told Freedom Radio’s Leral show in an interview. The interview would be aired on Sunday afternoon.

Sabally admits that Jammeh had his leadership shortcomings, but the truth be told, he went on, Jammeh was at the forefront in ensuring that Gambia’s health sector was given the utmost priority it deserves during his rule. He cited the Ebola outbreak, which had claimed thousands of lives on the continent, but under Jammeh’s leadership, he said, the disease had never reach the shores of The Gambia.

“It is public knowledge that the intervention made by the Barrow leadership to tackle the Coronavirus pandemic rather came too late. They waited until the virus had entered the country, and they started combating the disease. Unlike Barrow, who found himself into the Presidency by accident, Jammeh was not only smart, intelligent, but an action-oriented leader. He ensured that our health facilities were properly taken care of during his rule. Barrow is ruling The Gambia on the dictates of social media and his boss President Macky Sall. His decisions are motivated by what Sall tells him to do,” Sabally remarked in the local Wollof dialect.

He added that Gambia’s health sector had collapsed under Barrow’s rule-with patients dying due to lack of basic health facilities. He referenced a road accident case, in which a young man died while being admitted at the Kanifing General Hospital. He said the young man’s death was due to lack of oxygen gas to resuscitate him. The hospital’s ambulance also had no functional battery that could be used to transport the patient to Banjul for further medical treatment.

According to Sabally, under Barrow’s rule, The Gambia has been transformed as a province of Senegal.

“Our country has been annexed to Senegal. While we were talking about the Coronavirus outbreak, Barrow traveled to Senegal with a delegation to meet his boss Macky Sall. He should have stayed home and focus on combating the spread of COVID—19. It was after his return from Senegal, that the country had recorded its first Coronavirus case,” he said.

Sabally had also talked about Barrow’s lack of preparedness to lead the country. He said Barrow had to rehearse for days before he could read his Friday’s prerecorded state address.

“His delivery in that speech was poor. He couldn’t even pronounce the word COVID—19.  His speech was prerecorded. I was told that he had to rehearse before he could be prerecorded. I would recommend that he speaks in one of our local languages if he is unable to articulate himself fluently in English,” Sabally said.

Join The Conversation