Earlier this week, a New York based Gambian political activist Saihou Mballow threatened to organise a protest march at the UN in New York against President Barrow if he fails to appoint a substantive vice president within ten days.
Mr Mballow claimed the non appointment of a veep is unconstitutional and an affront to good governance. Women’s Affairs minister, Fatoumatta Tambajang was appointed to the post but the decision was rescinded when criticism mounted over her being over aged. However, she currently oversees the office.
Mr Mballow told an online news site :“Barrow and his government are taking Gambians for a ride. This is a blatant violation of the constitution. He swore to protect and defend the constitution. And here is Barrow, openly violating the constitution by failing to appoint a Vice President. We are not going to sit idly and allow him to take the country to ransom. This is not what we fought for…”
But another Gambian political activist based in Washington state, Ebou Ngum, described Mr Mballow’s statements as misleading and wide off the mark.
He stated: “Te problem we are having with this so-called never ending diaspora struggle is that we have so many keyboard activists who are only good at misleading the Gambian people…I cannot say how shocked I was when I read some of the point advanced by Mr Mballow regarding Barrow’s credentials and bla bla bla!
“First of all, the Gambians voted for a regime change and in the process, we voted for a president. There was nowhere during the last elections wherein people had to go to the polls and vote for a vice president as well. The incumbent president is mandated by law to appoint someone in that position. In addition, I am not sure if there is a provision in the 1997 Constitution that mandates the president to urgently fill the position of vice president. I might be wrong too so I stand to be corrected.
Mr. Mballow clearly has issues to pick with Barrow based on all the things he wrote on that piece… I feel those words are just an idle threat. I implore Mr Mballow to book a ticket and fly to The Gambia and go confront the Barrow government about the vice president issue. Organising a protest against the Barrow government in New York will have no impact on anything I promise.
To crown it all, this same Mballow who is trying to tear Barrow apart, actually met him in February of this year and said very good things about him. On February 26th , 2017 Mr. Mballow met Barrow and this is what he said on Facebook “Sunday, February 26th, I visited my brother Gambian president Adama Barrow and his family. We had a mutual, fruitful and generally good discussion. As always he is smart and down to earth”.
For clarity purpose, this same Fatoumatta Tambajang that most keyboard activists attack day in day out about her age, was at the forefront of the protests back home in the Gambia when Solo Sandeng was arrested and subsequently murdered. Mrs Tambajang in her age goes out and join other women to protest and no one realised how old she was. Today, all the 5th grade constitutional lawyers made by this struggle go online and say anything they want against her. I think we should wait for the Gambia government to go through the process of appointing a vice president and leave Mrs Tambajang alone. Whether she eventually becomes the country’s vice president or not, she contributed more to the current changes in the Gambian than most people that attack her daily.”