The impoverished West African nation of The Gambia, is undergoing political transformation. A peaceful democratic change was ushered on December, 1st, with the electorate replacing the country’s longtime iron fist dictator Yahya Jammeh. Mr. Adama Barrow of the newly formed opposition alliance is the President elect.
Mr. Jammeh has conceded defeat. He said he is going to hand over the nation’s mantle of leadership in January, next year to President elect Barrow. No date has been scheduled for the peaceful transition of power.
World leaders have since started dispatching congratulatory messages to President elect Barrow. Barrow’s electoral victory has been locally and globally hailed. It has been characterized as a turning point or glass sling to ending Gambia decade long oppression under the leadership tyrant Yahya Jammeh. Freedom has returned to The Gambia, with the election of Barrow as that country’s President.
Mr. Barrow, a former Real Estate Developer, has started assembling his cabinet. Gambians at home and abroad have been groomed as potential members of Barrow’s cabinet.
The incoming Barrow administration will no doubt tap on the expertise of its citizens serving in international institutions to help rebuild this economically battered nation. Jammeh has ruined the country to the ground. It is going to take a committed, dedicated, honest, and patriotic workforce under a Barrow administration to rebuild our country.
The twenty-two years Jammeh dictatorship has contributed to the mass exodus of Gambians fleeing from their country—largely due to political, religious, gender and economic persecution. Many have assimilated to western cultures just to fit in those societies. That’s normal.
Now with the large number of Gambian returnees from exile to their native country, it’s imperative to note that some of the returnees might suffer culture shock and would find it difficult to fit in at the workplace if hired by the new administration.
The American or British ground rule at work, is different from that of The Gambia. Productivity at work matters in these countries. But in the case of Africa, The Gambia productivity at work is hardly evaluated. Government workers report to work late, absent without permission, and office gossiping. Bribery and corruption is also a common practice in many institutions.
The incoming administration should consider organizing a day workshop on culture shock, and foreign culture assimilation for their new hires coming from overseas. This will help to mitigate any potential work related behavioral problems.
That said, President elect Barrow recently made an encouraging statement that his administration is not going to engage in witch hunting. He also talks about the need for the respect of rule of law and justice.
The new Gambia we are about to officiate should be inclusive—irrespective of tribe, origin, creed, or religion. It should also promote national healing. In that, we should reconcile our past differences and turn a new page. Turning to a new page, should not be misconstrued as avoiding to right the wrongs perpetrated under Jammeh’s rule. There should be a truth and reconciliation Commission to probe into the past.
On a final note, the army should remain impartial and professional during this important political transformation of our nation. Any attempt to subvert the wishes and aspirations of The Gambian people would not be tolerated.
President elect Adama Barrow should be allowed to assume office and serve his countrymen. He has been voted into office by Gambians. And the verdict of The Gambian people should be respected. We rest our case.
Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai