There is a crack in President Adama Barrow’s government. Infighting, treachery, nepotism, and backstabbing is the order of the day. There is distrust amongst officials.
President Barrow is apparently trying to man up and operate outside from his shadow government led by Vice President Fatoumatta Jallow Tambajang. Ms. Tambajang has lately felt being sidelined by Barrow. She also believes that there are “forces” out to undermine her to the rookie President. She is even soliciting prayers from trusted ” friends” and well-wishers. She is increasingly frustrated.
The rookie President, who used to call her ” Mum Tambajang” is acting indifferent towards her. Barrow has found himself in a catch 22 situation. His UDP marginalized Camp; Youth Movement and Diaspora returnees; and the new breed of Social Media strugglers are on his mind. Barrow is very concerned about the messages coming from the diaspora lately. He is devising a mechanism to control the narrative. He is going to hire more diasporans in coming weeks and months. Just watch the space.
He is finding it difficult to navigate within these camps without hurting the other. The Barrow State House is a complete mess. Mr. Barrow is not only indecisive but totally clueless as to how to lead a nation. He lacks leadership skills to handle the crisis. He appeared to be very vulnerable to blackmail and manipulation. He is being hoodwinked by some deceptive loudmouths coming from the Diaspora and within the country.
Barrow will be making the biggest political mistake to allow outsiders or political hacks to dictate to him, how he should run this country. Even though Fatoumatta Jallow Tambajang is not the best choice for Vice President, we know for a fact that there are efforts spearheaded by some UDP phonies to get her fired. She has been accused of using her office to extend favors to her family, friends, and ethnic group. These are charges coming from her opponents.
Ms. Tambajang ’s backed appointees are heading key positions of authority in the government. Her fingerprints are all over the place. She is pulling the strings at the newly created OIC Secretariat. Lamin Sanneh is the CEO of the OIC Secretariat, but he reports to the VP.
Ms. Tambajang runs the country. She has her people running the ports, the Central Government, the police, the Intelligence Services especially the SIS, just to name a few. Thanks to Barrow and Macky Sall, she was able to run a shadow government all this while. But she seems to be losing grip of her power base lately–with Barrow openly bypassing her.
Ms. Tambajang was the darling of the UDP until Mai Fatty was fired. Mai got fired few days after she was sworn into office. Mai is a family friend to the Tambajangs. His buddy Pa Ebou Sanyang used to date Aja Tambajang, the daughter of the Vice President. Pa Ebou owns the property occupied by the Ministry of Interior. The property was leased to the Ministry, while Mai was the Interior Minister. Pa Ebou has been flagged within some intelligence circles. We will leave it at that…
Last week, I read a piece on the Standard Newspaper, in which Mai Fatty, challenged his former schoolmate Adama Barrow to explain why he was sacked. Mai raised valid arguments in his interview with the Standard.
The Semlex issue was just a hoax to let Mai go. Mai’s firing, partly has to do with the harassment of the Fulani population in the Gambia by the Immigration Department agents, while he was Minister of Interior. Fulanis were being rounded up in Soma, Banjul, Serre-Kunda, Basse, and elsewhere across the country on the basis of not possessing residential permits. Some of those picked up were Gambian born natives.
Some concerned elders of Fulanis, including respected Imams, led a delegation to VP Fatoumatta Jallow Tambajang to complain about the daily harassment they suffer in the hands of the GID agents. The VP told them that she will make sure that the harassment will stop. She forwarded the case to president Barrow.
The Gambia, keep in mind that Fatoumatta Jallow Tambajang’s parents hailed from Guinea Conakry. She was born in the Gambia, but she has strong ancestral ties in Guinea.
Both President Barrow and Fatoumatta are Fulanis. Barrow’s biological mum is a Fulani. Barrow sees himself as a Fulani breed.
What worsens Mai’s case is the alleged denial of the Sarahule businessmen community Gambian passport. During Mai’s stint as Interior Minister ID Cards and Passport Issuance were suspended at some point. This never went well with the Sarahule community.
It is a known fact that Adama Barrow has strong ties with the Sarahules. He was raised by the Sarahules. He wouldn’t want to condone anything that will hurt his people.
Now, let us take a look at the Senegal angle to Mai’s firing. Barrow’s presidential supervisor Macky Sall is also a Fulani. Banjul consults with Dakar on major cabinet decisions. The administration will be quick to rebuff our assertion, but this is the naked truth.
At the end of the day, Mai was being seen as an “unpredictable Gambian nationalist” whose dependability to serve the interest of the political actors in Dakar was being doubted. He was suspected to be part of the harassment campaign to disenfranchise Fulanis and Sarahules in the Gambia, in the name of tightening Immigration.
Even though Mai is married to a Senegalese lady, his aggressive approach to scrutinize citizenship in the Gambia worries some political actors, who are banking on the aforementioned ethnic political demographics in pursuance of their political ambition.
The reason given by the Barrow State House for Mai’s firing was that he was let go in the best interest of the nation. The State House was right in some respect because the issue of ethnicity is sensitive. The Gambia is a diverse nation. Almost every Gambian born native, has his or her parents resettled in the country from other countries in the region. So, it is always prudent for the GID agents to employ a high degree of professionalism in the due execution of their duties.
Now let us revisit the appointment of Ebrima G Sankareh, as the government’s new Spokesman. Sankareh was hired by President Barrow without the knowledge of the Vice President. His appointment came as a surprise to many in the administration.
Sankareh and his buddy Education Minister Badara Joof had visited Mankamanka-Kunda, the president’s home village during Barrow’s vacation. Sanks has named his son after Badara Joof. He spends almost six hours with Barrow during that visit. What was discussed in that meeting will be reserved for subsequent publications?
It is imperative to note that Fatoumatta Jallow Tambajang and Sankareh are close buddies–dating back their refugee days in Raleigh, North Carolina. Sanks has been very supportive of Ms. Jallow when she arrived in the US after she parted company with the former military junta headed by Yahya Jammeh.
Ms. Tambajang never helped Sankareh to secure a job. She was pretending busy while Sanks had made his home turn. The duo spoke on phone, but she never received Sanks at her home prior to his appointment by Barrow.
Ms. Tambajang was visibly taken by surprise when she heard Sanks appointment on Radio Gambia. This is one of the surprises she will never forget in her life. LOL.
Mr. Sankareh is qualified for the job, but many believe that his appointment is a duplication of efforts–given the fact that Demba Ali Jawo is Gambia’s Information Minister. Throughout the world, Information Ministers serve as government spokesperson. There is also a State House Press Director in the person of Amie Bojang Sissoho.
We will be back! Stay tuned….