By Alagie Manneh
A year after deferring its right to host the OIC Summit due to “infrastructural deficiency” , The Gambia will now be ready to host the 2022 intergovernmental Islamic summit in Banjul, Yankuba Dibba, the CEO of The Gambia secretariat assured.
Speaking in a wide-ranging interview, Mr Dibba allayed concerns among Gambians that the country may not be ready and tick all the boxes in the months to the summit.
“I can tell you with all certainty now that I’m more than confident [The] Gambia will be ready to host the summit, ” he told The Standard. Mr Dibba said funding for the OIC summit’s five key priority projects has already been secured, with the exception of the Bertil Harding Highway project.
“Hopefully in the next month or two, we will be able to have funds for that too, ” he assured. Last August, the CEO of the secretariat with others resigned reportedly owing to executive interference in their work, but Dibba said he is operating with “all the independence” he needs.
“I cannot even fathom the need for executive interference here. None of them [Barrow administration] ever stepped in here,” the former teacher and communications specialist clarified.
He said the government has only been a facilitator: “That should be their role. ” Mr Dibba also rejected claims that he was a closet UDP supporter, saying: “I have never been a card holder of any political party here. “