In this President Barrow strategy, I sense two forces at play; one good, the other, not so.
First, we have seen over the past two years how every new face from UDP felt they had control over what President Barrow did. Thus; President Barrow is exerting Independence and a voice of his own, far from the meddling of every face that appears from the UDP camp.
More importantly, this move is a rejection of efforts geared towards tribalizing the Coalition government. That’s the good part. But there is also a downside inherent in this move. The frequent firings are a threat to democracy and effective administration of government, as it concentrates much power in the hands of the executive; the president. But, it has other deleterious effects as well; it instills fear in public servants, undermines confidence in the government, causes public service officials to surrender to their government’s coersion.
What every government needs more than anything else is stability. Yahya Jammeh ruled by chaos; Gambians want none of that model, anymore. What just happened in the recent firings mostly has to do with President Barrow’s efforts at consolidating political power. Nothing less. This is exactly what Yahya Jammeh did, one step at a time; one bad incident after another, and was met with radio silence from the Gambian population.
The end result under Yahya Jammeh was monocracy; a government of one person. But even though this is totally at variance with Gambian’s collective aspirations, President Barrow is weaseling his way into that unenviable position.
Mathew K Jallow