By Lamin Cham
Weeks after his redeployment as the new Special Presidential Adviser for political affairs, Saihou Mballow has told The Standard that his new role presents a good opportunity for him to influence political decisions by the president on national matters.
“This position goes beyond advising the president on his party politics. I am aware that it is a senior government position which requires the holder to exercise professionalism in advising the presidency on national political matters as a whole. I intend to do this by creating avenues and initiating constructive nonpartisan political consultation, dialogue and understanding between the president and all political players so that at all times, and no matter how tense the political climate can be, it will always be peaceful. My new role is an opportunity to influence the president’s understanding and perspective of the political landscape of the country not just for his interest but for the good of the country through sound political decision and judgment as issues arise,” Mballow said.
One of the key exiled activists during the Jammeh regime, Mballow said what is needed in The Gambia now is to strengthen the gains recorded in 2016 when the country was rescued from dictatorship to freedom for all citizens.
“We must not forget that all the noise, internal wrangling and sometimes ugly political exchanges are themselves a measure of the progress made in our politics. Our role must be to safeguard these freedoms and not allow them to denigrate into conflicts that would blindfold us to stop protecting the collective lot we call The Gambia. I want to state that I will be committed to any efforts that can make Gambia’s politics sanitised, peaceful, democratic and tolerant. I will be ready to receive every constructive political concern, idea or opinion to the presidency and promote dialogue and engagement on anything that would grow and germinate tolerance and respect for one another in our body politics,” Mr Mballow, who until this new assignment was deputy presidential adviser of youth matters, said.