Alagi Yorro Jallow
I am re-posting this post for its relevance in today’s conversation of executive wastage of resources at the 73rd UNGA in New York when President Adama Barrow traveled with a private chartered jet with an estimated cost of $ 17,000 per hour, an entourage of confirmed fifty-three delegates to attend the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York last year. Let’s focus more on mega sleaze than distraction from the former Vice President alleged corruption against the Foreign Minister for personal vendetta.
Shall We Tell the President?
Alagi Yorro Jallow
It’s with utter consternation that the Gambia government spent several million of local and foreign currencies on the President Adama Barrow’s trip to New York for the 73rd
United Nations Annual General Assembly in September 2018. This one-off expenditure is an affront to Gambians and to taxpayers. It is unacceptable that President Barrow could go to New York and spend such huge amounts of money, dinning, shopping and having fun when most of our people live in extreme poverty. It is unacceptable that President Barrow spent such amounts of money on dining and shopping when our hospitals have no drugs and when our youths have no tuition fees to pay in schools and university. President Barrow had abused Gambians by being inconsiderate to the many challenges we were facing.
Gambians are shocked that these entourages that the President moves with are not only bloated but surprisingly, his supporters, family member are also being included on these not so worthwhile trips being done in the name of diplomacy. To, therefore, say that President Barrow is a spendthrift is not an understatement or an abuse. It is a fact and there are no apologies to say that Adama Barrow seems to have no agenda for the Gambian people.
The monies that Adama Barrow is wasting on these unproductive trips could be put to good use. We wonder why Adama Barrow cannot take a leaf from the Presidents of Senegal, Sierra- Leone, Liberia and Tanzania, who rarely fly out of their countries, and often, they usually travel with commercial flights not a chartered flight that cost millions of taxpayers. If Adama Barrow really cares for his people, which we doubt he does, he should be reasonable in the decisions he makes. We pray to God, that the Almighty gives him wisdom not to be irrational. The persons handling the Presidency are questionable characters. These are characters who don’t understand statecraft. What can the likes of Musa Drammeh and Dou Sanno advise the President? In criticizing his UN 73RD General Assembly meetings Adama Barrow, it is naive that while Gambians are wallowing in poverty. Gambians are therefore challenging President Barrow to inform the nation how much he has spent on his recent UN 73rd General Assembly and we urge the President to change for the better and put the Gambia as his number one agenda.
According to a whistleblower detailing part of the cash transactions made on President Barrow’s trip to the United Nations meetings, the whistle blower alleged that the treasury deposited several millions of local and foreign monies for various logistics, adding that some of it was spent on unexplained costs at New York hotel accommodations in Manhattan, limousine hires and dinners.
The whistleblower further opined that lot of expenditures were spent on shipping cargo for government officials and members of the president’s entourage by a shipping company of New York, a transport firm that is specialized in providing a range of moving services to the diplomatic Community, corporate entities, individuals and government employees. He further alleges that some amounts were spent on shopping in various department stores, including the International Jack’s place, phone accessory shop in New York and Innovation luggage store on Broadway, New York.
Arguably, it is inconceivable that President Adama Barrow travel with a private chartered jet with an estimated cost of $ 17,000 per hour, an entourage of fifty-three delegates to attend the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York, makes President Adama Barrow as one of the most flamboyant Presidents in Africa. The justification by State House that the presidential visits are meant at codifying the Gambia’s bilateral, multilateral and economic ties with various states, multinational corporations and transnational corporations. This is laughable. Most Gambians are shocked at the high cost of President Adama Barrow and his government’s foreign trips.