Alagi Yorro Jallow

I didn’t judge President Barrow’s morality. I judged his action. What kind of society are we where actions cannot be evaluated for their impact? That’s immaturity. Only kids act without expecting their actions to be judged.

The value of the gift doesn’t depend on the price. It depends on the contract with the giver and the giver’s interests. What contract does the president have donating or giving gift to National Assembly members with vehicles outside of due process? It’s patronage.

A parent has a different relationship with a child. A parent is expected by society to provide for the child, but is also supposed to be in a selfless relationship called love.

To equate political patronage with parenthood is a corruption of parenthood with very serious implications.

Some of us must think very seriously about what we’re saying. We’re on a very slippery slope when we equate President Barrow’s gift to that of a parent. If we say relationships and interests of gift givers don’t matter, we’re essentially saying that kids should accept gifts from drug dealers and sugar daddies because those are behaving as parents, since their motives and interests don’t count.

And mark you, most of the people who are in denial, and are criticizing what I didn’t say, are from areas where they whine about the boy child or girl child being neglected. They have completely missed my point about what this act of giving a car means for grown up law-makers of men and women.

What happens to the young men and women who cannot catch the president’s eye and receive a car? How will they be men and women of substance in society? They will either drink cheap alcohol, prostitution or go into crime. And then we’ll all be told that every taxpayer is responsible for the crisis of masculinity in our political parties, a crisis for which its own supporters are still refusing to take responsibility.

We need to understand that wealth and power cannot buy you integrity, a brain or dignity. Esau discovered the hard way that they can’t. Birthrights and the sweat of your work, not gifts, are priceless.