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Opinion: Gambia: Leadership Nightmare

By Jaw Manneh:


While Gambians continue to reel from the trauma left by harrowing testimonies about savage killings under Yahya-Jammeh-APRC rule at the TRRC sittings, President Barrow's actions and inactions present real consequential danger to an already depressed peace and fragile national security.


Wednesday's violent protests are a combined product of imminent upswell of justified rage, resentment, and discontentment that will engulf the country unless Barrow administration punches the reset button. The violent protests that visited the streets in Brikama, Serrekunda and other places expose the lackadaisical leadership presiding over the affairs of the country. The government appeared completely headless in the face of the recent crisis. That it would have to take the intervention of Hon Sallah and likeminded Gambians to directly engage the protesters for normalcy to return. And where was the president again?


Thirty months into Barrow presidency has not ushered in the changes that citizens are still yearning for. His preoccupation has been and remains the entrenchment of his presidency beyond the current term. In furthering that ambition through his reckless political amateurism, he has succeeded in squandering the goodwill that arrived on the tidal waves of change in December 2016. He has alienated allies that fought and bled, patriots that got scarred and jailed and died in the struggle against the murderous criminal APRC government. In effect, he finds common cause to collude and conference with the same lackeys that helped Jammeh and his thugs loot the country and decimate lives. His presidential statements are as nonreassuring as deadwood. Yet he finds soothing in self-style braggadocio at political rallies and in front of interview cameras. Not even the sharpest of political mind could see through his false pretense, the failed exercise of mystification of political statue and power. In case he did not read the memo, that is so Jammehesque. And it is not selling anymore, FYI. Please quit that facade.


The Gambia deserves so much better. The country's youths want a leader who listens. They want a leader who is not apathetic to their daily cries and wailings. They want a leader whose vision is in sync with their aspirations. They want a democratic system of government that respects their civil and political rights, including the rights to peaceful protest and assembly. They want to be treated humanely, not degradingly. They want opportunities to actualize their potentials. They want jobs with dignified wages, not the D2,000 salaries a month. They want to feel safe and secure in their own country. Sadly, and to everyone's chagrin, President Barrow has proven incapable of delivering on these aspirations so far.


Editors note: Views expressed herein are those of the author and does not necessarily represent the views of Gunjur News Online.


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