Reports have it that there are now at least two movements associated with you; or, affiliated with your name. These are the President Barrow Youth Movement and the Adama Barrow Foundation for Inclusive Development (ABFID). This is totally unacceptable, Mr President.

For long, African politicians have used the naivety of their youth to perpetuate themselves in office. They use these types of movements to hide their lack of focus on development and the raging fire of poverty and want which is ravaging their people. Whenever such movements are formed, you can be sure that it is not – cannot be – genuine and without ulterior motive.  No amount of whitewashing can make these movements democratic.

Mr President, since you came to power – rather, since you came to office (power sounds misleading), there have been a series of failures on your part. You have presided over some very shady practices which can affect the democratization process. For instances, the fact that fifty-seven vehicles were given to members of the National Assembly and the public still does not know whence these vehicles is a case in point.

That incident and these youth movements (and perhaps others) all have a potential to severely derail our democracy. This is because the three arms of government are supposed to hold each other accountable. The National Assembly may not be able to exercise its oversight functions if members see the president, head of the executive, as a benevolent father who is willing to do anything to get them comfortable vehicles to move about. Thus that move was wrong.

The movements on the other hand will disturb the level playing field and the equilibrium in the area of politics, business and others. They are a perfect example of political patronage. The interesting thing is that when this was brought to your attention by a journalist, you brushed it aside as if it were of no consequence.

You said and I quote, “They came to seek my support, I promised to empower them.” (Fatunetwork). This implies that you agree with the idea. What is the difference between such a movement and the Green Boys and Green Girls under the former government? It is the same. They are groups of people seeking wealth and fame by associating themselves with the president and/or his name.

The ongoing Janneh Commission you set up to look into the financial dealings of the former president and his close associates has revealed clearly that when people or companies have a relationship with the president, they can – and often do – take advantage of said relationship to have an edge over others in the country.  If truly someone is interested in national development, they need not set up a movement of that sort. If they do, let them name it after something (or someone) else. Why name it after our president? The truth is that, there are almost always ulterior motives. Why weren’t there any Barrow Youth Movements two or three years ago? The answer is simple; you were an ordinary businessman then. If someone had named a movement after you then, or when you leave office, I won’t bat an eyelash over it.

Now though, thousands of Gambians and I have given you our votes. We have given you our coffers, our destiny, our future and that of our children. So we cannot – will not – remain quiet while people use your name to gain political, financial and other favors at our detriment. Disband these. Now!

Have a Good Day Mr President…

Tha Scribbler Bah

A Concerned Citizen