By Omar Bah
A former spokesperson of APRC and now strong supporter of President Barrow, has described as baffling claims that the president is copying from Jammeh’s bad governance style book.
In recent months, critics have often accused President Barrow of adopting Yahya Jammeh’s politics of inducement, patronage and other discredited styles of the former dictator in his bid to keep power.
But in a Standard exclusive, Seedy Njie said: “It always baffles me when I hear critics of the president accusing him of being a dictator. He is not one. I think we need political hygiene in this country. We need very genuine opposition and critics who criticise based on facts and provide solutions that will change the status quo.”
President Barrow, he added, has complete respect for due process as established by law.
Seedy Njie, whose vociferous defence of Jammeh in the dying days of his regime angered many Barrow supporters then, now has this to say of the president: “Even the blind have realised that this country has seen a difference with Barrow. It is only those who aren’t good for this country who will deny this truth. You have people in this country even if you jump into a pool of water, they will complain of dust. No government can solve the problems of this country with the current mind-set. We must wake up from our constant slumber and think of The Gambia and nothing else.”
Turning to the 2021 budget, Njie said: “It is disappointing to hear some people claiming that it is designed to support Barrow’s political ambition. That is completely inaccurate. What President Barrow and his government are doing is part of his policy to decentralise development; to ensure that every region and every corner of this country has a share of the national cake. The government wants to ensure that every year there is certain allocation in the national budget for rural development. But to say that the government’s decision to allocate over D100 million for rural road constructions is for political reasons is pathetic and completely hypocritical.”
He added: “Every genuine government will use its budget to build roads, schools and other development initiatives. It is disappointing that some political leaders will want a government to starve its people because they want that government to fail so they would be elected. This happens only in this country and it has to change because we are better than that.”
He said the government is committed to ensuring there is level playing ground for the 2021 election.
Njie said there “is not a single dime allocated to the National People’s Party in the 2021 budget. It is wrong and misleading for anyone to suggest that. President Barrow has no intention to use a single butut of state funds to fund NPP.”
The opposition, Njie stressed, is just jealous of the president’s ambitious development projects.
“They are worried that it will make him win the 2021 presidential election. But they should remember that the government cannot afford to allow its people to continue suffering. I want to tell the opposition that as things stand, Barrow doesn’t need to induce anybody to vote for him – every Gambian is realising the tremendous work he is doing in this country. That will be his ticket back to the State House,” he said.