Baboucarr Bouy never turned down Barrow’s offer

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Dear editor,

Well, contrary to widespread belief or opinion that Baboucarr Bouy has completely shut the door on the possibility of working for the Barrow government, he (Baboucarr Bouy) has let it be known (through me) that at no point in time had he declined a job offer from President Barrow. Serving his country, he assured me, would be an opportunity that he would embrace. There is no iota of truth in reports circulating that Baboucarr Bouy has totally ruled out the possibility of working for the current government. Indeed, there is more to this story than meets the eye. Baboucarr Bouy and others, including myself, are now trying to get to the bottom of what went wrong on the two occasions that President Barrow wanted Baboucarr Bouy to work for him (Barrow). It is important to nip this kind of misrepresentation of Baboucarr Bouy’s position in the bud.

First, after Yahya Jammeh was unseated from the Gambian presidency in December 2016, Baboucarr Bouy, given his competence, knowledge and vast experience, was initially lined up for the post of Secretary General (SG) and Head of the Civil Service. But, in the end, the post of SG was given to the late Dawda Fadera because the intermediary (name withheld by me) sent to Baboucarr Bouy by President Barrow had subsequently reported to the President that “Baboucarr Bouy declined the SG post”. Yet, this interpretation given to President Barrow at the time, was a complete mischaracterisation of Baboucarr Bouy’s position. Just for the record, Baboucarr Bouy has never turned down the chance to either serve as Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service or Minister in charge of Public Service, Administrative Reforms, Policy Coordination and Delivery under Barrow. Reports at the time, that Baboucarr Bouy declined the post of Secretary General were a deliberate misrepresentation of the facts.

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Once again, following the creation of the post of a new Minister in charge of Public Service, Administrative Reforms, Policy Coordination and Delivery, Baboucarr Bouy, sources have told me, was potentially earmarked for this new post. President Barrow received Baboucarr Bouy’s CV for the second time via WhatsApp,  having already had it, and needless to say, Baboucarr Bouy, whose resume speaks for itself, became the first-choice candidate for the newly-created Ministry of Public Service. Indeed, Baboucarr Bouy became an ideal candidate for the new Ministry, and the President had asked one of his advisers (name withheld by me) to sound Baboucarr Bouy out on the possibility of serving as the Minister of the newly-created Ministry of Public Service. In short, the President decided to ask someone to contact Baboucarr Bouy to test the water, as it were, before taking a final decision on the matter. I am told that there was supposed to be an intermediary acting as a go-between to try and work out something with Baboucarr Bouy. But this person did not contact Bouy, as Baboucarr himself confirmed to me yesterday. Yet, it is my understanding that the President was told that Baboucarr Bouy had “declined” the possibility of serving as a Minister, as he (Bouy) was content with his current work.

Baboucarr Bouy is a good brother of mine – and I have spoken with him at length yesterday, and he decided to set the record straight once and for all, stressing that he would not turn down the chance to serve his country in any capacity. Baboucarr Bouy told me, in unequivocal terms, that he will never hesitate to respond to the call of  national duty, being someone who has always loved to associate himself with patriotic values. Understandably, he was concerned that (unfounded) reports circulating in the country and elsewhere that he “declined” a job offer from President Barrow for the second time may lead some people to see him as unpatriotic. Yet, Baboucarr Bouy’s patriotic fervour/pride is beyond reproach or rebuke. Basically, as far as I am concerned, and of course, there is also strong evidence to support this, I believe a member of the inner circle of senior government officials (a trusted adviser of President Barrow for that matter) perhaps seeing Baboucarr Bouy as a threat for reasons best known to himself/herself, decided to stand at the iron gate at State House in Banjul, blocking all access to the President for Baboucarr Bouy.

Mr. Bouy is an exceptional talent and he holds a B.Sc in Pure Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Wales, and also a Master’s Degree in Education and International Development from the Institute of Education, University of London. In 2012, the World Bank presented him with the Jit Gill Memorial Award for “Outstanding Public Service”. He was at the time, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education of The Gambia.

Ebrima Ceesay

UK