President Barrow’s Real Headache

By Benny Gudo

When the coalition government led by property mogul, Adam Barrow, came into effect in a post-Jammeh, a mammoth task of steering the economy as well as the social and political fabrics of Gambia towards the right trajectory was in the waiting room. Many wanted to see whether President Barrow and his coalition partners will live up to their billing considering the dearth of democracy and development.

As it has been always the norm in Africa that political leaders do not live up to expectations at every turn, hence many people, in particular Gambians want to see how the coalition team would tackle the economic, social and political problems of the country.

For the avoidance of doubt, the results won’t come on a silver platter. At this stage, President Barrow is expected to address real issues of concern with impartiality much different from his predecessor in order to win the hearts and minds of not only Gambians but new investors as well.

However, the unfortunate events of Kanilai [former President Yahya Jammeh’s birthplace] stirred the hornet’s nest for the coalition government as many people want to see how it will react and address the challenge. In my view, such should have been taken with prudence so as to demonstrate maturity and intellectual acuity on the part of the Barrow in lieu of applying swift deterrents on alleged protestors. Although, law offenders should face the wrath of the law, the process should not be a rushed decision to avoid being trapped into the Jammeh era system.

On the same note, the indispensable thing that occupied the minds of many people in the Gambia is to see how Barrow’s team deliver. In reality, sticking and delivering on the electoral promises is all we need to see in a New Gambia.

The electorate hates and have exception to fake promises such as a promise to build bridge where there is no river. Such political mentality has no standing in our contemporary times, despite the fact that it has intoxicated our politics in Africa. That is the reason why we are monitoring the political events in the Gambia with an Eagle Eye.

At this short stage, it’s hard to predict the performance of President Barrow’s administration but our insatiable desire rests on lasting peace and economic prosperity which go side by side.

2016 General Elections

Gambians demonstrated political maturity during and after the 2016 general elections which toppled the fascist regime of Yahya Jammeh. The entire African community was inspired by such resemblance which opened a new era in the history of African politics.

The results of Gambia elections stirred the hornet’s nest among alleged dictators in Africa because of the way Jammeh ceded power. First of all, it was the people power that shocked chauvinist Jammeh who was afflicted by paranoia to the extent of hallucinating. He wake up on the wrong side of the bed on various occasions with intention to keep political clout in the country. However, his plan crumbled like a deck of playing cards the moment ECOMIG forces descent heavily in his territory to enforce the will of the Gambian people. Sensing danger, irrational Jammeh packed his belongings swiftly and fled to neighboring Equatorial Guinea. It was a comical movie to imagine. It was a vital lesson for Africa. The take home for the Barrow government is to understand that they don’t have a blank cheque to do things deliberately in the name of liberation. Such thinking or mistaken belief must not be accorded any room in their mindsets as doing so will taint their image outright. What is left at this stage is to stick to basics and deliver. Nothing else.

President Barrow’s real headache is how to clean up Jammeh’s social, religious or political mess and replacing them unity, justice and hope.

The author is a Zimbabwean PHd student who writes in his personal capacity. Send comments via:


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