By Mafugi Ceesay
Ibrahim Jallow, a private legal practitioner, has told The Standard that the Barrow government “has totally failed to focus on priorities” for the country.
The young lawyer, who has made a name for himself for his hard-hitting and punchy criticisms of senior politicians notably Ousainu Darboe,said the post-Jammeh dispensation offered “ a unique opportunity” for the new leadership to create a new Gambia marshaling the energies of the people and building a cohesive and prosperous nation.
Almost three years in office, he said “there is no indication that the current coalition government can achieve these goals because the government has totally failed to focus on its priorities”.
He said: “If President Barrow wishes to rely on his executive powers and seeks to barricade himself behind water cannons, rubber bullets and teargas, instead of seeking the protection of the law, the implications can be very severe socially, politically and economically. President Barrow should continue to resist the temptation to rule with impunity like the former president Jammeh. Remember when he said his systemo balanta when he shook Jammeh’s hand.”
“My sincere advice to President Barrow is, if he is not willing to seek judicial intervention to avert the impending anarchy, he should thank God for the opportunity and leave the stage when the ovation is loudest, since the people who voted for him say so.”
Jallow went on saying that “the saddest thing is that The Gambia remains among the few countries in the world where the citizens needlessly continue to suffer due to ineffective government policies”.
He said President Barrow cannot be entirely blamed for the continuing poverty, corruption and underdevelopment in the country.
“Yes, before President Barrow there was poverty, corruption et cetera. However, the level of poverty, corruption and abuse of public office in this present government, if the indices are sincerely and honestly analysed, it would be found that what was once a toothless bulldog, has turned into a monster. While I acknowledge that President Barrow is entitled to advance his own political agenda, he should do so in consideration of the wishes of the generality of the people who voted for him based on the coalition agenda, including the three-year transitional mandate.
“I don’t personally blame President Adama Barrow for the woes that have befallen the Gambian people since 2017, that blame should go to the coalition; but truth be told, the president and his ministers have so far spent too much time trying to explain, than actually serving the people. The focus of the Gambian people when choosing their next president and government, should be to entrust the government of the country in the hands of a new breed of leaders who are more patriotic and more technologically-attuned to nation-building than members of the old guard who have mostly dominated the political terrain without adding value to the socio-economic development of the country.”