OPINION: And So We Voyage - Lamin Njie
It’s been 625 days since President Barrow came to power. The man is a political VIP now. It’s remarkable really. His is that of a man who has always been meant to rise to the top of the pile. Just that ‘Barrow, The President’ has enduring limitations as time has come to tell us.
Without doubt, the road already had the look of rough and uncertain. That’s what most countries get after they manage to exorcise their vicious days - something that’s hardly to be wondered at. Right, we all know it’s actually been difficult for President Barrow. And understandably so for someone who isn’t that cut out for the daily grind of being President. He always insists otherwise. During the President’s last media outing of which I attended, I carefully looked at a man whom I gave my vote to. He looked positively confident as he laughed all the time. The only time he didn’t laugh was during his 8-minute astonishing paean of bile against Dr Ismaila Ceesay. But that’s Dr Ceesay’s fault. You don’t go about calling people clueless and expect them to be cool with it. Yet, there stood a sweat-soaked President responding to questions from journalists – trying to find solutions to his nation’s most pressing problems. I have to say I left the presidency that day a loathed journalist since I was the one who asked the ‘disrespectful’ question that got the President really riled. Some people there and even outside went as far as contending that it was personal. That it was because of Mai Fatty (I was his media adviser when he was Interior Minister). Truth is I HAVE no problem with President Barrow’s sacking of anyone. I mean anyone and that includes Mai Fatty. Barrow is the President and he has every right, with prudence of course, to hire or fire. I just have a particular style to journalism of which I plan to keep really. One way or another, the events and trends of the past 19 months have been so absorbing. However, it’s the errors made that have particularly jolted a very engrossed citizenry. Some of these errors, shockingly or embarrassingly, have caused big PR kerfuffles. The donation of 57 pick-up trucks to members of the National Assembly is one. The hiring of a convicted drug dealer as an adviser is another. And the most recent, of course, would be reports that President Barrow has been trying buy the support of National Assembly Members. Should the reports pass the barometer of truth, it will be the single biggest error to have been produced by President Barrow’s clearly faltering administration. Meanwhile, it’s nobody’s fault that the number of people who are critical of President Barrow has grown. Because the President isn’t too incisive a President, the tendency for him to make mistakes and go on to take a beating for them has been so high. His critics base will to grow even larger as his mandate courses down. That’s for sure. Of course we’re faced with a daunting political landscape but there’s plenty to be positive about. President Barrow’s just got to be a bit more decisive. I have watched him in awe as he dragged his feet on even the simplest of decisions. So far he holds the record as the president who has set up the most probes. And I have a feeling this President seems not bothered about the one thing that could ruin everything. It’s not rocket science to know that corruption is the one thing that could spoil any party. Corruption is this government’s biggest threat so far. Fight it, you’ll be right. Ignore it, you will be so wrong.