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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Letters: President Barrow does not deserve a second term

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Dear editor,

Oftentimes, we call out the president for his manifest betrayal of our trust, for glaring incompetence of his administration and for his gleefully naked political ambition to seek another term in office. We do so without malice but out of concern for the country and people we love dearly. We have been short-changed big time in ways unimaginable and this makes the betrayal all the more tragic, sad and unforgivable.

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The collective euphoria, hope and optimism that buoyed Barrow’s campaign and paved the way for the ouster of Yahya Jammeh, in 2016, was painfully short-lived as it dissipated under the ignominious weight of greed and hunger for power. The ensuing five (5) years has been nothing short of chaotic governance, corruption on steroid in public institutions, impunity on methamphetamine, general freezing of life-changing developments, increased wasteful spending of public resources, high cost of living and an emboldened criminal activities. Arguably, these are as a result of a President consumed in power consolidation, incapable of understanding the awesome responsibilities of the office he occupies and presiding over a government lost in its track with little or no direction, all of which come with enormous cost for Gambians.

Through various decisions, we could understand the mindset of a President solely focused on political survival even when these decisions are tangential or in direct conflict with the overwhelming national interests.

Barrow’s decision on the Janneh Commission’s Report was a text book definition of how he intended to fight corruption and mismanagement: rehire, retain, reward and elevate indicted financial criminals who have remorselessly, dishonestly shamelessly demonstrated political, ethical, legall and moral malleability.

The President’s covert collusion with some members of the National Assembly in the form of financial inducement and other underhanded political maneuvering to torpedo the people-endorsed Draft Constitution is a testament of Barrow’s zero commitment to get rid of both the colonial-era and Jammeh-era anti-democracy and anti-Gambians laws.

Through Mambury Njie and his Supplementary Appropriation Bills, we could understand the nefarious and wasteful schemes of the sitting President to defraud Gambians in broad daylight for political purposes.

Through Bai Lamin Jobe, we could discern the willingness of President Barrow to award shady government contracts and kickback to his donors.

Through Dr. Lamin Samateh, we understand the President’s absolute lack of care and diminishing priorities for our healthcare systems which has seen recent spike of maternal and infant mortalities our hospitals.

When Gach company imported hundreds of lethal weapons into our country for private use, we realized that Barrow would go to any length to compromise National Security in order to satisfy any compensate his financiers..

And Barrow’s non-commitment towards justice and victims of the former regime’s decades long terror campaign is on full display when his NPP, in an act of political desperation, has turned to APRC for possible alliance the cornerstone of which will all but certain be about shredding of the TRRC’s findings and the potential criminal indictment of Yahya Jammeh for mass murder, torture and crime against humanity.

Thus, with these and so many other examples out there of tragic political, legal, economical and governance failures that have defined Barrow’s Presidency in the last five years, it would be a betrayal of conscience, delusional naivety, rewarding and immunization of wholesale incompetence to give him another chance in office. We should have the presence of the mind and care for the future to recognize critical danger zones and red flags in Barrow’s leadership and commit to ending it on December 4th, 2021.

Making Barrow a one termer would place him in the categories of fellow failed leaders in other nations around the world who have placed personal interests above their people’s, who have squandered historic opportunities, who have shattered the optimism of their constituents and who have failed to deliver for their country. Time to send clear, unmistakable message to our non-performing Commander-in-Chief that his days in the State House are ending faster than he’d bargained for, that betraying Gambians comes with a cost and that the only thing in store for him post election is to go back to climbing his 500m Kabaa Tree in Jimara…

Zakaria Kemo Konteh

Queens, USA

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