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Sunday, September 27, 2020

#Barrow’s Cabinet: #My Take

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By Hatab Fadera There have been lots of talks about President Adama Barrow’s Cabinet. Different opinions and or suggestions have sprung up lately. Some conclusions were made and some have been watching cautiously to see who are finally in or out. But until such a time that it will be all clear about the new Cabinet, I would reserve certain opinions. Facts must be our tools at all times. This goes for everyone, and not only journalists. Anyone dealing with information with intention of keeping the public informed must have as his/her arsenal, facts. But here are my words on the few that have been sworn in today. Looking at the composition of this batch, it includes people who really gave up a good chunk of their life to the restoration of democracy and decency in The Gambia. #Omar Amadou Jallow This politician is very tenacious. A man who suffered at the hands of Jammeh’s cruelty, he never minced his words speaking out loud against dictatorship. Having served in the First Republic, watched and criticized the agricultural policies of the Second Republic, and now sworn in as a Minister in Barrow’s government in the same position he held at the time his PPP-gov’t was illegally deposed, I want to believe he will do a good job. He has great insight into this sector. In fact, Jammeh at one point confessed that Jawara’s agricultural programs were successful even than his. With that in mind, OJ should therefore revolutionize this crucial sector, the mainstay of our economy with an employment prowess of 70 percent. #Dr. Isatou Touray From fighting to ending the brutality of blade to launching a campaign against a dictatorship, Touray is just a fighter! She spearheaded one of the most difficult campaigns at a time when a few had the courage to stand up against the ALMIGHTY FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION. It was a taboo, an entrenched cultural practice that our ancestors had practiced with pride. After years of campaign, her advocacy prevailed. One would have thought she would retire after that. Her next move was to pick up a broom to sweep the mess created by the despot. Her campaign came with big bangs in that she was the first Gambian woman to dare to contest the highest seat of the nation (she wasn’t the first woman to contest an elective post. The late Nyimansatou Sanneh Bojang also did for a legislative post.) She will therefore make a good Trade Minister because she will negotiate well for us all. #Lawyer Ousainou Darboe With a new political title, Ousainou ‘Nelson Mandela’ Darboe, he is a face of resilient. He too suffered badly at the hands of Jammeh. He was an easy target because he headed the biggest opposition political party, which Jammeh had always saw as a potential threat to his leadership. The catalyst of this #New Gambia, the late #Solong Sandeng, was his party’s former National Organizing Secretary. It was in pursuit of justice for this man and many of his co abductees that Darboe and his party leadership got into Jammeh’s political nest. Initially, I thought that Darboe should be handed a different portfolio other than this one, but that changed after a second thought. He had always wanted to be a president, a bigger responsibility. So it is my guess that he will handle this one. His law background and understanding of the international system will help him. Again, his famous trial that attracted global attention could continue to win international solidarity for the country because he would be the link. #Hamat Bah When I saw him in his traditional wear at the swearing in, I couldn’t help but be impressed. That’s a good start for a man who will be the chief cultural ambassador for the country. These days, culture and tradition are key elements for tourism. Understanding of our cultural heritage and exploiting that for the good of tourism will add value to a sector that is contributing 16 percent to our economy. In addition, he has a wealth of experience in the tourism sector. He too had his beef with Jammeh and was consistent in his strong opposition against him. #Mai Ahmad Fatty Mai is a more direct personality who seems to be unambiguous. He is a strong leader with a legal background. Internal security would be critical to the success of this new government, and someone more assertive as Mai, very well fits into managing that. I have the conviction that he will regulate this sector and make it more vibrant. His legal background will be a great guide given that the sectors engages more with the constitution. Looking forward to the next batch, and hopefully that will include Halifa and Sedia.]]>

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