“Adama Barrow is our Holy Moses” How much Has Changed In Five Years? Alagi Yorro Jallow Part I

Mamos Media

Fatoumatta: When President Barrow assumed office on January 19, 2017, and the majority of Gambians looked up to him as the miracle man, the holy Moses, comparing to Queen Esther, the Messiah and the savior who would help to straighten the Gambia and who with the force of his character and integrity and those of his coalition partners unquestionable integrity will sort out the Gambia’s moral and governmental crisis. Mass hypnotism brought him to power because, as we have seen, the country was facing severe major social, political, and economic crises. However, after the collapse of high-stakes coalition partners, sidelined and purging executive members from the government dealt tremendous blows to the coalition members’ morale, leading to the total paralysis of the coalition government transition agenda.
Hence, I am not alone seriously thinking about the mindset of a people with the divine grace of having one of their own as the president of The Gambia. It also raised posers about whether the nation has been this divided since the collapse of the coalition 2019 and the civil war between President Adama Barrow loyalists and the United Democratic Party (UDP) and other coalition partners and “Diaspora tafyengal hustlers.” It is so sad to think that the same Adam Barrow who had a pan-Gambian endorsement of the Grand Coalition 2016 that ousted Gambian strongman Yahya Jammeh is the same person his political family, the United Democratic Party (UDP), his political Godfather and “Diaspora tafyengal hustlers,” and other disgruntled flight by night activists struggling to force the rest of the country to reject President Barrow and his government barely two years after his first election to relinquish power in pursuant of the Memorandum of Understanding entered into among coalition partners. However, President Barrow’s insistence on obedience to the Constitution and calling for the Supremacy of the Constitution over any moral judgment chose to serve five years as the constitutional mandate for the presidency. He projects a vision, an image, and optics of power in contradistinction to the objectives of his critics and doubting Thomases.
Fatoumatta: What could have happened? Could the problem be because the Adam Barrow presidency has been genuinely ineffective in putting actions into the pledges the man-made to the people when he sought their mandate five years ago? His supporters and loyalists would readily answer this question by pointing at physical developments across the country. Furthermore, can anyone see the list and know that they are indeed on the ground. Adama Barrow, too should be worried why almost everyone outside his political clan is decidedly against whatever he stands for. He should ask questions from people outside his circle of friends and acolytes. He should find out why people who put their everything into his ascendancy are now openly opposed to his second term or are at best evasive or reluctant about it. He should find out why the hustlers Gambian Diaspora that took him as the symbol against dictatorship and hegemony are now almost against him. He should ask questions about whatever it is that is polarizing, even his baptism political party, the UDP he belongs to. He needs to find out and ask how to keep his political base intact for his second-term ambition on December 5, 2021.
In entering the presidential race for the first time, President Barrow could not have expected he would become a phenomenon in our national politics. He has. This fact has crept up slowly on the nation. It is not easy to explain away his transformation, partly because it is complicated and somewhat because it would amount to trying to unravel the mysteries of human mood swings and how the wind of the dynamics of national politics blows. If there are political psychoanalysts, they have a big task here. Adama Barrow is a political surprise. Nothing in his character or business hints at becoming a man of the people, riding on the crest waves of populism where it matters most –among the poor, the dispossessed, the cheated, and the despairing.
Fatoumatta: Adama Barrow is an ascetic and a rigid businessman. Populism is not his cup of tea. At least, until now that he finds himself the crowned head of a famous politician. He did not enter the race waving the banner of populism. However, he waved his flag, accompanied by a formidable coalition team as a serious-minded politician. He has offered nothing but his credentials as an incorruptible transitional and competent leader with the sole objective of fixing his badly broken country in the reform and healing process.
Typically, his sales pitch would be a no-no because we have been conditioned to expect and even demand largesse from politicians during electioneering campaigns, the only time they reach out to the people. It is no secret that there is a lack of mutual trust between the people and the politicians. So it is quid pro quo: Give us money, get our votes. Moreover, because Adama, being of spare flesh, cannot shake body, his campaign promises would be treated as airy nothings – full of sound but not the welcome sound the Dalasi makes in the pocket.
President Barrow has stood that conventional wisdom on its head – I hope for good and the good of our country. The poor flock to him in a way we have not seen since, perhaps, as his predecessor Yahya Jammeh and the champion of championed their cause. The poor know he has no money and did not come into the race with a war chest bulging with dollars, pounds, and Dalasi. So, instead of asking him for money, Gambians chip in the little they have for his campaigns. As witness an older woman in the Diaspora who gave him her life’s saving of hundreds of dollars. As witness schoolboys and hundreds of the struggling poor who chipped in their proverbial widow’s mite.
A politician funded by the people; especially, the Gambian Diaspora community? Even more interesting is that hundreds of thousands of young men and women who work in the Adama and coalition 2016 Campaign at national and international levels are volunteers and foot soldiers. They work for free because they believe, I suspect, not that the lack of money, but civism and patriotism should not debar anyone from their noble national pursuit. However, unfortunately, it does have the grating sound of aberration.
Adama Barrow and his Grand Coalition partners do not rent crowds at their campaign rallies. The people flock there at their own expense. It must be a big surprise that ordinary people see the genuine and honest leader they crave in him. I keep hearing something like this: “I trust him because he is honest. He had the chance to feather his own nest, but he did not. He is the only politician who is genuinely offended by the brazen theft of our commonwealth. I believe he is the only one who has what it takes to stop the rot and rescue our nation”. We are drowning.
However, you look at it, Adama led an authentic political movement of the ordinary people for the familiar people. His transformation is telling evidence that victimhood could be the road to heroism. Luck, therefore, played a significant part in his elections. Part of his luck was that the Grand Coalition 2016 moguls made the total gain of making Adama Barrow a Messiah, the issue in its presidential campaigns. While APRC and the GDC foul mouths went after him this way in every sleazy way, questioned his qualification, even literacy, Adama and the Coalition team concentrated on selling their governance agenda to various economic and demographic groups the Diaspora community. There was no sordid desperation against Adam Barrow and his Coalition partners despite the power of the incumbency in the current era-the Presidential regime of Yahya Jammeh.
Fatoumatta: There is so much division in the land, and Adama Barrow should be worried, except he prays to be elected for a second term on December 4, 2021. However, instead, the battle cries are too loud not to be audible. So, what is the problem? Is Barrow the problem?

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