Opinion | Barrow gov’t: Bad Personnel, Bad Process, Bad Policy, Bad Politics
The most recent elections have been a crushing blow for the incumbent, Adama Barrow. For reasons totally avoidable.
After flawlessly executing a thorough drubbing of the United Democratic Party, Barrow had a unique opportunity to govern and campaign later.
Instead of facing the most urgent issues facing the country, Barrow surrounded himself with a bunch of clowns whose dogged pursuit of parochial political interests consigned the majority of Gambians to living a cruel destiny that’s not theirs.
Perhaps the simple man from Mankamang Kunda lacks proper appreciation of the fact that bad personnel plus bad process is bad policy, is bad politics. Instead of taking on the cost of living crisis with skill and competence, Barrow in his characteristic laziness found a convenient scapegoat in the Russia-Ukrainian war.
More than seventy babies died due to government negligence; yet Barrow and his cabal of clueless officials failed to demonstrate empathy to a grieving country. A subsequent report submitted to the president on the issue didn’t merit any action from the seat of power.
Blatant corruption with impunity across the civil service has become the order of the day. Environmental destruction and looting of natural resources by private and foreign companies have become par for the course.
Big ticket issues such as security sector reform, introducing a new constitution, infrastructural development have been bungled with devastating consequences for a country reeling from two decades of tyranny. Worst strategic failure yet is the hiking of electricity tariffs barely two weeks before critical elections. Stupid move! I don’t know what the president was thinking. If he thinks at all, it’s not evident.
His advisers including press and communications czars should be fired for such a strategic failure. Their jobs are not just to put out press releases; but shape the president’s image and shepherd policies with skill, while acquiring them purchase on the public mind.
However, it’s not too late for Barrow to save his presidency despite the catastrophically poor showing in recent elections.
A cabinet reshuffle is surely needed, for under his current cabinet the Gambia has begun to mirror shades of its vile past.
Instead of sulking about the opposition triumph and seeing it as his Kryptonite, he should work with them to further his development agenda. The young talents propelled to public office by UDP base stands a better chance to help him stanch the NPP carnage , puerile advisers and a cabinet of clowns.
Editors note: Sainey Darboe is a US-based journalist and writes from Washington. Views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Gunjuronline.com. Got an opinion article for publication? send it to us at GunjurNewsOnline@gmail.com