A prominent Gambian opposition figure has branded President Adama Barrow as “a serial thief.” Ebrima Dibba, a former sacked Protocol Officer in Barrow’s government, made the allegations in an interview with Freedom Radio Gambia on Thursday.
Dibba has claimed that Barrow is the “chief thief” in his government. He cited Barrow’s unexplained and unjustified sudden wealth in his hours long appearance on Freedom Radio’s Civic Education show. For example, Dibba said Barrow had built a multi-million dalasis mansion at his home village, and he owned properties in The Gambia. He also said Barrow was involved in a Diplomatic passport scandal, the sale and repossession of dictator Jammeh’s assets among others.
Jammeh’s assets were seized after the Janneh Commission of inquiry had found him to be liable for abuse of office and corruption. Dibba has alleged that Barrow and his henchmen have started messing with Jammeh’s seized assets. He added that Barrow had overtaken Jammeh when it comes to corruption.
Dibba is a supporter of the United Democratic Party (UDP). He said since Barrow had fallen out with his political Godfather Ousainou Darboe, Amadou Sanneh, the former Trade/ Finance Minister, and Lamin Ndambou Dibba, the former Lands Minister, his government had ventured into massive corruption web.
He warns that corruption under Barrow’s rule, had reached an alarming proportion. He attributed the growing corruption culture in Barrow’s government to what he called “ the lack of leadership in this country.
“This country has no leadership. No one is in charge of this country. Barrow is not in charge of this government; that is why everyone is doing their own things. This country is at crossroads. There is no one in charge. It is really sad. Barrow is a total failure. He has no clue, when it comes to leadership. He is a moron,” Dibba claimed.
Dibba doesn’t think that under Barrow’s rule The Gambia would ever succeed in combating corruption. He adds that since Barrow came to power, no single government official has been tried and jailed on corruption allegations.
“Barrow is corrupt to the core. He is the head of the thieves in his government. You wonder why he is not going after corrupt officials in his government? He is corrupt. Tell me, which corruption case has been successfully prosecuted under Barrow’s rule? There is none. Barrow’s hands are not clean. He is corrupt that is why he is not prioritizing the fight against corruption,” Dibba has alleged in the local Mandinka dialect.
“Both Barrow and his wife, the First Lady, are corrupt. They were both implicated in the Diplomatic Passport scandal. His wife had issued so many Diplomatic Passports. There will be no justice in that case. For how long would the investigations lasts? Since Barrow and his family have been adversely affected in that case, there wouldn’t be no justice. Barrow cannot go after corrupt people because he is corrupt,” Dibba further alleged.
According to Dibba, even member of The Gambian police, the Immigration Department, and senior government officials were implicated in the Diplomatic Passport scandal. Hence, that is why, nothing is going to come out of that case, he said.
Barrow came to power in December of 2016 after defeating Gambia’s longtime dictator Yahya Jammeh in a disputed election. He was elected into office as an independent President, backed by other political parties. He has since consolidated himself into power by setting up a political party, and national Youth Movement. He has also sacked his Coalition government colleagues.
Dibba also said Barrow has no interest in transforming The Gambia as a developed and corruption free nation. He alleges that Barrow has been surrounded by corrupt former Jammeh enablers. He called out the likes of Finance Minister Mamburay Njie, Alhagie Ousman Ceesay, Bai Lamin Jobe, Sheikh Omar Faye, VP Isatou Touray, businessman Haddim Gai, Senegalese businessman Kaililou Waggeh, and Momodou Tangara as some of the people who are allegedly enabling Barrow.
He describes Barrow as an immature leader, who lacks confidence in himself. He said Barrow has proven to be an inept President.
Dibba said Barrow is into alleged land grabbing, personal enrichment among others. He said the Gambia has no future as far as Barrow continues to be its President.
He recalled when Barrow had wanted to take over assets owned by a Qatari business tycoon Karaffi, but Lamin Dibba his former Lands Minister refused. He said Dibba wouldn’t dispose Karaffi’s assets to Barrow, insisting that there must be a court order before he could okay the President’s request.
Karaffi owns assets around the Tourism Development area and elsewhere within the country. Dictator Jammeh had taken over the said assets while he was in power.
” Barrow and his cronies have taken over Karaffi assets when he fired Lamin Dibba, Darboe and Amadou Sanneh. He has also taken over the lands around the airport,” Dibba alleged.
Dibba also said Barrow’s wife is operating a Foundation that is engaged in corruption. He recalled when the likes of Fatou Ceesay, the Chairperson of the Fatoumatta Barrow Foundation and Mrs. Barrow herself wanted him to help them with Saudi philanthropists to donate money to the Foundation. He alleged that Mrs. Barrow has been currying favor from Gambian Foreign Service officials to help lobby funding for her Foundation.
According to Dibba, a UDP government is going to investigate Barrow and his co- partners in financial crimes. He warns that Barrow will one day have his day in court for allegedly pillaging the nation’s much needed meager resources.
Barrow’s Press Director couldn’t be reached for comment at press time.