Some members of Gambia’s intelligence community are increasingly concern about the mediocre approach taken by the Barrow administration to politicize intelligence collection, and gathering for national security purposes, the Freedom Newspaper can reveal. The appointment of Assistant Superintendent of police (ASP) Muhammed Kanteh, a Nephew of Foreign Minister Ousainou Darboe, to head the State House Intelligence Division, has been faulted in some quarters within the intelligence community. Mr. Kanteh, used to work at the police License Office, and has no intelligence background, sources said.
Mr. Kanteh is now occupying the former office of Gambia’s co president General Saul Badjie at the State House. He has some “Intel agents” working under him. Mr. Kanteh, has been referred to as one of the most powerful security officials in the Gambia today—given his family relationship with opposition leader and Foreign Minister Ousainou Darboe.
“These people are playing with the lives of Gambians. How can they entrust the State House Intel gathering and national security to an intelligence novice in the person of ASP Kanteh. Kanteh used to work at the police Licensing office. He has no intelligence training or background. He has been offered the job because he is Ousainou Darboe’s Nephew. This is absurd to say the least. This administration is politicizing intelligence,” said our source.
Mr. Kanteh is said to be a gentleman of the highest order, but source intimated that he should have been assigned somewhere outside intelligence collection and processing. Mr. Kanteh is a lawyer by profession.
“Kanteh should have turned down the job offer. This is not his domain of expertise. There are more competent people, who can man that job. What the Barrow government is doing in essence is to compromise their own safety and that of Gambians. Kanteh is not intelligence material. He is clueless when it comes to intelligence. Appointments are not given based on merit in Barrow’s government. You have Turo Jawaneh, there commanding the State Guards. He is aging. Turo is a virtual spent force. He has outlived his productivity as an officer,” said another security source.
It has come to our attention that the likes of Commissioner Abdoulie Sanyang, are worshipping ASP Kanteh, so that Barrow can consider him for the position Inspector General of police.
“Abdoulie Sanyang is working very hard to undermine IGP Sonko. Do not be surprised if you hear that he has been appointed IGP. He is always on the phone with Kanteh. IGP Sonko himself is aware of the situation. He is just waiting for his marching orders. The very day Sanyang was reinstated, he started feeling the evil machinations staged to have him replaced by his sworn enemy in the person of Abdoulie Sanyang,” our source said.
ASP Kanteh could not be reached for comment.