Following the chaotic debacle of Liz Truss and the mayhem within the Conservative government, one may think that United Kingdom “UK” ‘s democracy is falling apart. Far from it.
Democracy is obviously harder than we think. It is not an easiest form of system. It does require attention and participation and it does have to go through some stages of instability for it to be refreshed.
But the point is, for Liz Truss to tender her resignation letter as the prime minister of Britain just after 44 days is significant. We know her record breaking short stint as a leader of UK was disastrous.
Hence, her lack of skills to lead UK was gleaned during her leadership campaign. But the overt reason, she admitted was that she could not deliver the radical economic and political mandate she was elected for, by her party.
Juxtapose this to president Barrow of the Gambia and see why UK is in the position they are and the reason Gambia is languishing degradingly in the backwardness we are in.
With breathtaking speed, Barrow has discredited our transitional project that had the potential to metamorphose the Gambia into achieving our long-lost Singaporean dream.
His short stint so far in power is calibrated by corruption, indiscipline, economic instability, tribalism, plummeting public approval, inefficiency, and spectacular leadership failures. Never, has a president been less suited to the job than he is.
Yet, he is still clinging ruthlessly to the seat of power long past his creative usefulness, if there ever have been any. Barrow have dazzlingly failed to deliver on any mandate he campaigned on but yet still, we are sheepishly accepting him to sleep walking us in to an unknown abyss.
On the other hand, the Conservative Party in UK realised that Liz Truss was unfit for office and the consequences of her remaining at the helm of the country. That is why they booted her out with speed because she has reached the point of destruction; shaming and humiliating their country.
Why then is president Barrow, who drove us over the poverty cliff remains in charge of our country and we accept him as he continues to damage the country?
There is little record of positive achievement that Barrow can boast of. On the contrary, his accomplishment is to have dismantled our structural foundation so quickly rarely matched in the political landscape of the Gambia.
The agriculture development; stunted, the health system; collapsed, education standards; dismantled, road networks barely existed, inflation; out of control, unemployment at record high, the Dalasis crashed against the Dollar and poverty skyrocketing. More than 66 Gambian babies died because of corruption, negligence and incompetence, but no resignation, no accountability of any kind.
A leadership of bewildering procession of U-turns on everything he promised - alliance with APRC, on draft constitution, on the three years coalition agreement, Security Sector Reforms, Anti-Corruption Bill, TRRC White Paper and more.
A president is normally supposed to stand for something. But, president Barrow in the Office of the President stands for nothing. His performance as a leader is persistently lame and shallow. His judgment and his tone are always wrong.
He is so conspicuously lacking in ability, fluency, imagination of any kind, to be able to steer the country off the troubled waters we are dangerously wallowing in.
The talentless calibre of those given seats around him and/or chosen as his ministers and advisers, were chosen for factional loyalty rather than ability.
Look at the preseason audit inspection of the Banjul International Airport “BIA” commissioned by Tour Operator prior to the opening of the 2022-23 tourism season. One of the issues highlighted in the report is the lack of brakes for the only service truck that ensures the fire safety of passengers and air crafts.
Also, in the report, it was flagged that the tall grass that is cleared every year before the start of the season to reduced birds population around the airport has not been cut. These are some of the issues that nearly disrupted our tourism season, could you imagine. And without the audit of Tour Operators the status quo will have remained. This is inefficiency to the core dressed in international embarrassment.
Thus, the authority of Barrow as the president is spent already. The government he represent at the beginning of the end of dictatorship no longer exists. Discipline has collapsed and the president is condemned to a caretaker position.
A leader in name, held hostage by APRC, stooges of Senegal in state house and Ebrima Sankareh who gives regular useless press releases to update an incurious country with nothing substantial.
It ought to be clear by now that Barrow did not have the capacity to lead our country. However, one of the qualities Barrow have shown is a lack of self acknowledgement that he is unfit to tackle the serious challenges the country faces.
With these, there is no prospect of his performance improving. The author of failure should vacate the statehouse for the benefit of the country. It is now a matter of national interest that the country be led by someone capable.
Barrow’s administration has caused so much damage in government and make the country poorer.
Therefore, it is the responsibility of those who are continuously supporting this dysfunctional government for destroying the country’s credibility, as a serious nation, heaping financial pain on struggling poorer families and pushing the already vulnerable people deeper into poverty.
The Gambia cannot endure anymore a dysfunctional and negligent government with no backbone or authority. As long as we keep tolerating egregious leadership failures, our sorry situation will remain dire as a country.
Ebrima Scattred Janneh (EB)