Dr. Ismaila Ceesay, a political science lecturer of the University of The Gambia has stated that President Adama Barrow will fail as a president if he does not listen to technocrats and also by not putting the right people in the right offices.
“If Barrow wants to succeed he should be more transparent and he should make sure that he gets the right people in the right places,” he said. “Barrow has never worked in government; obviously everybody knows that. But that’s not the issue at the moment. You have to surround yourself with the right people because this is a transitional period. We are beyond politics and what is most important now is fixing Jammeh’s mess and put The Gambia back on track.”
Barrow, he said, needs people with the right expertise and knowledge around him. “He should get the right people at the right places to do the job. Currently if you look at the civil service, there is a mismatch between the capacity of certain permanent secretaries and the portfolios they occupy. It is important for President Barrow to be more open to critique and listen more to expert opinions. Leaders develop by accommodating dissenting views.”
Dr. Ismaila Ceesay, an outspoken political science lecturer at UTG was arrested on Jan. 31, over comments he made in an interview with The Voice newspaper. The paper published a story in which he was quoted as saying; “the presence of ECOMIG Forces won’t prevent long-term security risks if the president does not win the trust of the army”
On Gambia’s external relations, the political scientist said that The Gambia under Jammeh pursued a more confrontational foreign policy. He, however, claimed that contrary to this, The Gambia’s foreign policy is now more reconciliatory under the Barrow administration. This policy shift, he argued has partly to do with the different personalities and nature of the two presidents and the awareness by President Barrow that The Gambia cannot afford to be sidelined in the comity of nations if the country is to successfully pursue its development goals within the framework of the National Development Plan. Dr. Ceesay, however, stressed that successive governments have adopted a more reactive rather than proactive approach and thus called for the need for Gambia to adopt a more proactive foreign policy.
NAWEC and SENELEC Deal.
Quizzed by this reporter about the deal between the National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC) and SENELEC of Senegal, the political scientist said that one of the problems of the Barrow government is their lack of being transparent. “They are not very transparent when it comes to certain issues. This energy deal is a national issue that should have been subjected to a national debate to explore the details of the deal and its short and long term implications for the economy and sovereignty of The Gambia, he stated.
The government, he went on, should ensure that they are transparent in all their dealings. He frowned on the decision for ministers not to publicly declare their assets as earlier promised by Barrow. “All ministers, including the president himself, should publicly declare their assets once they assume office. This ensures public confidence in our Public Servants and helps fight graft.