By: Pata PJ.
Hon. ANM Ousainou Darboe shoulders a responsibility and burden of fulfilling a very reasonable expectation of a nation yearning to move on; Progressive Gambia. Reasonable because he benefits from the experience of decades of strengths and weaknesses or shortcomings of institutions and personnel since the country attained nationhood. And for the two decades that he’d sought the mandate of Gambians for the highest office in the land, this is the closest and most powerful in opportunity and influence to impact the country as per his vision and desire to advance the country. With all the limitations and imperfections of The Gambian state, excuses are running out. The elevation to the position of a Vice President is a litmus test for a lot of things but most especially vision, leadership, and ability to impact the change we set out on.
Nobody has much to lose than VP Ousainou Darboe. Not even president Barrow. This is because Candidate and President Barrow had far lower expectations from Gambians because he was a ‘compromised’ candidate sold to and by a people whose focus was more on having Jammeh out than how to rebuild after Jammeh. So where Barrow enjoys benefits of the doubt to have been unprepared, Darboe would not. Where his predecessor was cut the slack for time and the chaotic start of the Administration because of impasse, he’d have had 16 months headstart. All eyes have been on Ousainou but the focus and beam are even obvious now. From how he bridges our divides, perceptions that are both positive and unfavorable, stereotypes of politicians changing once in office, fear of power getting to heads thus the unrelatability to the voters, big, dangerous flying convoys and entourages to his ability to lead a nation.
I have no worries about Hon. Darboe’s commitment to The Gambia or his capacity to shoulder the responsibility. But I’m very cognizant of the weight of the task and the circumstances under with leaders operate. Therefore, my prayers and hope is that his assumption of Vice Presidential duties would better things. That the ‘absolute power corrupts’ belief is not validated. That his unwavering conviction and belief in fairness and justice guide his actions.
The president reposed trust in a very Honorable man in ANM Ousainou Darboe. I’m confident that he’d not only serve honorably but significantly pursue and advance the change agenda that we desire. Failure is not an option. Faith is at an optimum.
BEST of luck.