When the newly elected Gambian President Adama Barrow, told the BBC Focus On Africa Program, that he has constituted a fully staffed Cabinet, he was not only deceiving the BBC reporter, he also inadvertently or dishonestly misled the BBC audience. Mr. Barrow’s cabinet is incomplete. He is presiding over a lame duck cabinet. No Vice President has been appointed by the ignoramus Gambian novice calling himself a president. Adama Barrow, is becoming a joke. The position of VP remains vacant. Someone needs to put sense into Barrow’s head to understand that it requires knowledge, virtue, and wisdom to run a country. He seems to be out of touch with the realities on the ground.
How can Barrow claimed that there is a functional cabinet, when the person, who should succeed him in the event of an unforeseen death, poor health, mental illness, or gross ethical misconduct is yet to be appointed. He has asked Women’s Affairs Minister Fatououmatta Tambajang Jallow to oversee the position of VP, until the current law is changed so that he can reserve the position for her. She is overaged by virtue of the 1997 Constitution. Our clueless president had earlier appointed FJT, as VP, without educating himself about the dictates of the Constitution. He later rescinded her appointment, following a public outcry.
Mr. Barrow should understand that in the absence of a Vice President, his cabinet is incomplete. The Vice president chairs the National Security Council, per the 1997 Constitution. She also represents the government at the National Assembly if questions arises about the issue of governance or the office of the President.
So far, there hasn’t been any National Security Council meeting convened since Barrow came to power–despite the looming security problems the nation has been confronted with. For example, the illegal discharge of weapon at Kanilai, by the Senegalese security forces, leaving three Gambian soldiers injured, and the post election violence in Foni, and the Upper River Region respectively.
Legally speaking, Fatoumatta Tambajang Jallow, cannot chair the Security Council. She hasn’t been officially sworn as our Vice President.
Perhaps, once the old law is changed, Barrow will finally appoint Ms. Jallow as Gambia’s VP. For now, the Gambia doesn’t have a Vice President–contrary to Barrow’s false claims to the BBC that he is running a fully staffed cabinet.
The BBC Reporter Mr. Fofona, should have quizzed Barrow over the vacant VP slot to see how he (Barrow) will justify his misleading and incoherent stories. Mr. Fofona is very aware of the leadership void in the Gambia. Mr. Barrow has shirked his responsibility as Commander-in-chief to appoint a Vice President. Period!
It is our understanding that the first bill to be tabled before the National Assembly in coming days is the repealing of the Age Limit associated with the office of the President/Vice President and judges to serve on the bench. This a priority amendment bill that the UDP led government wants to table before the House for approval.
Mr. Barrow also talks about convening one cabinet meeting since coming to power. He considered these developments as success stories in his administration. Gambia, what a clown and an uniformed president you got. Government successes and shortcomings are not usually measured by how many cabinet meetings a given government has convened. The bottom line is: Barrow should grow up and get to work. This country is not moving. Almost all the institutions are stagnant—thanks to Barrow’s lack of leadership foresight.
On the Energy Sector, Barrow said an energy deal has been sealed with the Chinese. He promised to fix the county’s energy crisis within three months. We are yet to be told the details of the Chinese Energy deal his government has sealed with the Chinese State Company. Is the deal a loan from the government of Mainland China? Is it a grant? Has there been any feasibility studies conducted to assess the possible environmental damage the upcoming Energy project will impact on our environment and people? Who told Barrow that the Chinese will fix NAWEC’s problems within three months?
The recently inked Energy deal was a project that former dictator Jammeh has pioneered. It never kicks off the ground for reasons best known to Jammeh. Whatever the case might be, we hope the interest of Gambia and her people would not be mortgaged to the Chinese. We rest our case Gambia.