Never in the history of the Gambia has this nation been confronted with an existential threat like the current COVID-19 pandemic. Leaders of each and every nation on earth are now in front of their people to confront this calamity of unimaginable proportions yet in the Gambia both the Executive and the Legislature remain weak, silent and absent!
More than anyone, it is the President who should lead the nation in a crisis that some countries have equaled to a war. Any nation that is at war, it is the Commander-in-Chief who leads the troops and the citizens. Hence in the fight against coronavirus none but the President must be seen and heard leading the fight. Unfortunately, Gambians have to literally beg our President to show up to no avail. Why? Who is keeping the President away from his people?
The President’s technocrats must understand that the Government Spokesman Ebrima Sankareh is not the elected President of the Gambia. Therefore, it is both disrespectful and an indication of poor advice to use the Spokesman to address the nation in times of a major crisis through press statements. The declaration of a state of public emergency is no one’s job other than the elected leader in a democratic society. That task cannot be delegated to anyone in anyway. Similarly, that declaration cannot be issued only through a mere press statement.
Rather it is the President himself who should first of all come over to national television to physically, with his own mouth and tongue announce the declaration and any additional information necessary to help the nation prepare for the onslaught. Thus President Barrow is grossly failing the nation, thanks to his technocrats. They have hijacked the President away from his people thus endangering the nation and the President himself.
I will break with tradition to sympathize with the President today by saying that I strongly hold that indeed Pres. Barrow is being severely misled by his cabinet, advisers, permanent secretaries and staff of the Office of the President. This is because any sensible person, more so a professional at the highest office of the land should know that it is the job of no one but the President to face and lead citizens in times of national crisis. Even Presidents that have been notorious for mismanaging national response to this pandemic such as Donald Trump of America have the good sense to realize that he has to face American citizens in this crisis.
Therefore, I want to sincerely awaken Adama Barrow to realize that he is being misled, severely by his own people around him. Let Barrow imagine this pandemic as a war waged by another nation on the Gambia, what would he have done? Read the history of nations that were in war to find out what their leaders did. In some countries, the leaders even created a War Room purposely to lead the nation and its troops into the war. This is the same scenario we face today for which Pres. Barrow must take full responsibility.
I want to sincerely advise Adama Barrow to change course, for the path on which he is treading is neither in his own interest nor in the national interest. I strongly believe that Adama is hijacked and cocooned by the people around him for their selfish interest against the interest of the Gambia. Barrow’s predicament is that, on the one hand he brought his own people with him to State House and on the other hand he also maintained Jammeh-era longstanding officials, both of who are not interested in his success and the transformation of the Gambia into a viable democracy. That is his fault.
These people have covered Adama Barrow with a huge cloak of misinformation, disinformation, fear mongering and false narratives thus making him think that he is providing great leadership. They have made him think that there are enemies out there to derail and remove him from power. They have made him believe that they can do the job when in fact these people are not interested in either doing the right job or doing the job right. They over simplify and over exaggerate the reality to Adama such that he is drowned in a false sense of himself and his reality.
We need to rescue Adama Barrow from these wolves in sheep’s clothing. I can vouch that Adama is kidnapped politically by unpatriotic public officials and security officers who have no conscience but are well experienced in perpetuating bad leadership, corruption and dictatorship. The fact that the country could be facing a pandemic that is spreading like a wild bush fire yet the elected president is not seen and heard is indeed a huge concern. The Government had already said that Adama Barrow is free from the virus, meaning he is alive and well, yet he cannot speak to Gambians? Are we reading things in their proper context? I don’t think so!
Let us rescue our President from the hyenas!