(JollofNews)- Indeed it was a huge waste of public resources for Pres. Adama Barrow and his Spokesman Halifa Sallah to halt the nation for more than one hour for nothing.
Let us remind Pres. Barrow that we want to know our ministers NOW. He is not constituting a secret society or a cult. He has an obligation to set up a team of Gambians to manage our public resources and affairs. This is the task we have assigned to him when we elected him on December 1 and inaugurated him on January 19.
How can Halifa Sallah convene such a press conference without publicly naming the ministers yet tells us that they want Gambians to vet those minsters. The Gambia does not have a statutory vetting process like Ghana or the US where nominated names are submitted first to the parliament or congress to approve or disapprove.
Hence our Government must publish the names of proposed ministers and provide their profiles to the public before they are sworn in so that the public can vet them. This is the New Gambia we expect. But how can we vet the ministers when you refuse to name them prior to their swearing-in?
Citizens need to know the track record, capability, experience and personal backgrounds of proposed minsters so as to ensure that they carry no record of corruption, wife battering, husband slapping, promiscuity, child abuse, inefficiency, intellectual dishonesty and professional inconsistency among other criteria.
This is good for Barrow and for those ministers and for the country. But how can we do that when you name them at the very minute you swear them in? Then it means the Government does not wish citizens to vet them. This is not transparency and accountability and it is a very bad start for the New Gambia.
If Barrow is indeed confident of his ministers, let him throw out their names into the public domain for Gambians to evaluate them. After all we need the best of our sons and daughters to lead our government and deliver to us. He cannot deny us that opportunity and duty.
Meantime the person reported to be the Vice President Fatoumatta Tambajang is already fulfilling official functions without being sworn-in. By our laws, no public official can assume the full functions of his or her duties without taking the prescribed oath of office. Hence Pres. Barrow and Spokesman Halifa Sallah should tell us in what capacity is Madam Tambajang representing the Gambia in the ongoing AU Summit in Addis Ababa? Is she there as the Vice President of the Gambia or is she there as a special envoy of Chief Servant Adama Barrow? We need to get the right answers.
Today marks 60 days since we elected Adama Barrow as President. He is part of a Coalition, which has among them some of the most educated and experience Gambians who cannot tell us that they do not know how a government works. The leaders of the Coalition knew that they were going into an election to obtain state power. They knew that when a party or coalition and their candidate are elected as president, their first task is to form a government.
Hence the Coalition Leaders and Adama Barrow cannot tell us that for 60 days they were not doing anything to constitute their government. They cannot tell us that they started thinking about forming a cabinet only from Thursday January 26 when Adama Barrow returned to the Gambia.
Let Adama Barrow and the Coalition understand that their government is the most opportune government ever seen in the Gambia. This government has the biggest and most diverse support than any government in the history of the Gambia. There is no section of our civil service or security sector or our population that has indicated its opposition to this government. Rather all sectors of Gambian society have come out to give full support to the government since December 2.
The international community has given its full support to this government since December 2. No one has set our Central Bank or the Treasury on fire. There is no fighting of any sort in any part of the Gambia. Hence Barrow has absolutely no obstacles in forming a government. He must take advantage of the huge show of support and cooperation provided to him by the Gambian people and the international community and act accordingly. He must hit the iron when it is hot and stop indulging in procrastination and hesitation. That is not a mark of good leadership.
Finally. I hereby call on Pres. Adama Barrow to announce the names of the ministers tomorrow and allow for one week for public scrutiny before swearing them in. That is what is transparency and accountability in a democracy. For purposes of clarity, let me repeat. Name the ministers first, and suspend swearing-in for one week to allow for public vetting of the proposed ministers.
God Bless The Gambia.