By Omar Bah
Deputy political adviser to the president, Dou Sanno, has rebuffed former minister and ambassador ML Sedat Jobe who chided President Adama Barrow for appointing nonentities like Mr Sanno to serve as advisers.
In a Standard exclusive published on 26 May, Dr Jobe, a notable opposition UDP supporter, blamed President Barrow’s mishaps as a leader on the ignorance of those around him singling out Mr Sanno.
But Mr Sanno said criticisms leveled at him were below the belt.
“The criticism of my appointment is insensitive and hypocritical. Those criticising my appointment on the grounds that I am not educated are doing it out of hypocrisy and ignorance. Not being educated doesn’t mean one lacks sense. In fact, one may have many masters and PhD [degree] holders who have no sense of reasoning
“I want to tell Dr Jobe that I had great respect for him and his qualifications but he should remember that wisdom is given by God. It is true that I don’t have degrees but that doesn’t make me a lunatic and the UDP knows that very well. I always tell people that a degree without sense is baseless.
“Dr Jobe and my other critics should understand that I am a political adviser and not the minister of education or health. The president appointed me based on my political background and anybody who doubts my capability can be my guest after the December presidential election.”
Mr Sanno, an influential supporter of the UDP before decamping to President Barrow’s NNP, alleged that while serving as foreign minister under Jammeh, Dr Jobe was in cahoots with the UDP and they orchestrated the events that led to the expulsion by the government of the then deputy British high commissioner Bharat Joshi in 2001.
“I can tell you with all certainty that [UDP leader] Ousainu Darboe was the one pushing Dr Jobe to influence Jammeh. This is why immediately when the British diplomat was expelled, Darboe asked Dr Jobe to resign and avoid tarnishing his image. Jammeh trusted him given his experience but he connived with the opposition to betray him,” he alleged.
Mr Sanno challenged Dr Jobe and his UDP cohorts “to use their intellect and get Darboe elected in December”.
“If they think they are knowledgeable, let them use their knowledge in December. As far as I am concerned, my little education will get Barrow back to the State house,” he said.
A visibly agitated Mr Sanno said the majority of Gambia’s PhD degree holders have nothing to say now because they were quiet when Jammeh was brutalising Gambians.
“When things were tough here, all the intellectuals ran away from Jammeh. It was we, the uneducated people who drove the change. Some of us were killed and jailed. Where was Dr Jobe? If you think it is only degree holders who should be holding positions, why should you ask the uneducated people to pay tax?” he said.
The presidential adviser urged Gambians to maintain decorum as we enter the new electoral cycle.