I would like to add to the title, to read: Of the father, the son, charlatans, deceits and the trappings of power. The author of this thought provoking article is one of the very few committed nationalists, myself and other concerned Gambians have a compelling liking and respect for. As a matter of fact, I nicknamed him GENTAL. My point of departure as a complimentary response to this very pertinent article is that, there may not be any need for a compromise and/or handsake between Barrow and Dabo. Whilst Dabo has no problem with anybody including Barrow, rather Barrow has all the time to create problems for himself and to also create quarrels with people, all geared to his imaginary desire (#Not in the New Gambia) for Re-election as President. We need to understand that the man called, Adama Barrow, is the President of the UDP-led Coalition Government of the sovereign Republic of The Gambia and, not a household head nor an Alkalo of the small Fulladu Jimara village of Mangkamang Kunda. The Barrow story is like that of the mistletoe (known as dungo in mandinka), a parasitic plant that thrives on hosts and eventually kills them if they are not removed.
The point of the matter is that Barrow is extremely disappointing to the UDP specifically and, to the Coalition in general and, to himself in particular and, you know what, he may not be trusted. This virtually unknown man had an overnight popularity through his membership of the United Democratic Party (UDP). This is the political party that Barrow belonged to as a registered member and, represented to the Coalition’s Presidential Candidate selection process which he won, very, very conveniently. We may wish to note that, Barrow has lost his earlier National Assembly election contest to Kandeh of the GDC.
Furthermore, it is interesting to note that, of all the contestants for the Coalition’s Presidential flag bearer, Barrow was the least qualified, academically, and least experienced in terms of governance and behavioural management. Notwithstanding these important leadership determinants, some of the representatives of the other contesting political parties voted for Barrow, simply because of his representation of the UDP. Understandably, Barrow had to resign from the UDP to conform to the Coalition’s requirement to be its Presidential candidate.
Barrow’s election as President of the Republic infatuated him and reverted him to childhood, to the careless freedom of children and not the responsible freedom of a President of a sovereign secular Republic. As President of the Republic, Barrow was supposed to rise to the respectable mantle of office and serve as the mirror of the country. Instead, he became a sub-standard president and a constant source of threat and embarrassing remarks to the UDP and its leadership. It is unfortunate that, Barrow can address meetings/occasions whilst the National President of the United Democratic Party (UDP), who doubles as his religious adviser, is in attendance and raining praises on him, as an individual, whilst tearing the UDP and its leadership apart. This is a laughable comedy situation because it is immature. Do we call this a normal behavior? Or, are we seeing birds of the same feather flocking together? What is the hidden agenda?
Since Barrow’s leadership as the UDP-led Coalition President of the Republic of The Gambia, he has proven incapable, by all standards, to be New Gambia’s chosen participatory democratic leader for the restructuring of our society, which is essential to the solution of our enduring and stubborn problems of mass poverty, social inequality, injustice, and indiscipline; since the two years that Barrow has led this country, showed clearly that his leadership is, in fact, incapable of restructuring our society or even maintaining and/or linking it to what gains the country originally made during the first Republic; and since some of the deceits and charlatans of the disgraced dictatorial epoch are part and parcel of the imaginary personal ambitions of the head of the Government, which is Barrow, it follows that, if the nation is to achieve sustained socio-economic development, attain real progress and build a better and more just – and not merely a New Gambian society by name only, #BARROW MUST GO, so that participatory democratic processes and hope can be comprehensively restored to the Gambian people.
At the end of the five-year constitutional term/mandate (which would be heaven-on-earth for Barrow), he must be magnanimous enough to thank the Gambian people (the Coalition specifically with a very special honourable thank you to the UDP and its leadership) for making it possible for him to ascend to the Presidency. Then, wait for the election results and #HANDOVER THE PRESIDENCY to the next single party President and return to private citizenship, that is, either go back to the UDP or register his own political party which, essentially, is his democratic right. BUT, the Re-Election of an essentially basic knowledge accidental President Barrow, is unthinkable and, cannot be a national issue, simply because it will serve as an insult to progressive minded Gambians. The point is that, this country cannot continue to live in an epoch of mediocrity. Gambians making contributions to the proposed constitution should help promote the ideals of acceptability in this regard, in proposing enviable leadership standards, e.g. graduate standing and/or equivalent, if we want to uphold the #NEVER AGAIN slogan.
Despite the lack of visible alternatives, the Coalition Government under the Barrow administration cannot be said to be a viable and hopeful governing system. The heightened vulnerability of an economy increasingly dependent on the world market, the unresolved conflicts created by the President himself, embedded in his unattainable ambition for Re-Election, the all-round indiscipline in the country and the miscalculations of an uninformed bureaucracy composed of mediocre advisers and others stained with corrupt practices and the highest crime against humanity, threatens the viability of the Coalition government. The most fundamental threats are the administration’s inconsistencies, lack of governing principles and sense of direction.
The Gambia, like many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), is undergoing profound social changes in social structure and world view. The New Gambia is supposed to achieve fast track changes in a peaceful and orderly fashion. However, the current commitment of Barrow administration to Re-election at the expense of social equity, performance and professional decency only assures that social changes, when they do demand political accommodation under such conditions, could be shattering. At present there are simply no institutions to provide for the peaceful accommodation of new and diverse interests and opinions.
Many Gambians are now sick and tired of Barrow’s “unbridled insinuating speeches.” Many of his so-called supporters have complained about his tendencies of self-glory, irresponsible exposes, scandalizing and hyper-expressiveness. Unbridled speeches, they argued, serves as “national self-flagellation,” “a reminder of Yaya Jammeh’s crude mentality,” and a disgrace to the nationalist sensibilities.” The administration’s modus operandi has no organizational coherence or direction, which serves as a very clear indication of the basic vulnerability of the type of president that leads the country.
The hypocrisy of the administration’s attempts to gain popular support is the homage vice pays to virtue. It is extremely unfortunate that, a hard fought participatory democratic regime that has been installed to achieve peace, progress and political order, is seen to contain its own inherent tendencies to disorder.
A Concerned Citizen