“A mixture of joy and agony” is the line one avid political pundit used in describing Gambia’s president Adama Barrow.
However, minds won’t forget events that unfolded from the moment he was declared winner over incumbent Yahya Jammeh.
There was the impasse that followed, Barrow seeking refuge in Senegal and Jammeh leaving, all in dramatic scenes.
It’s three years since as Gambia News backpedals into in the past to dig out six shocking things the Mangkamang Kunda-born leader has done.
- GIVING MONEY TO A WOMAN IN PUBLIC: Backers of the current head of state will argue his predecessor did the same when he occupied the country’s helm. A case of copying from Jammeh’s exotic book? Very much like it ! It was during one of his final laps of the 2016 political campaign as election D-day neared. Clad in a white haftan and waving to a crowd of supporters who had beaten security lines to congregate around his vehicle, Barrow managed to spot out one woman from amongst the gathered lot to hand her wad of cash. Then State House photographer Alagie Manka picked it up and it generated buzz across the net as social media followers went berserk about the incident. Later word went round that the woman was someone Barrow knows.
- POSING IN A PHOTO WITH WAIST-BEADS BACKGROUND: One could blame this on poor PR. But on a second thought, Barrow could have simply double-checked before posing happily for a photograph. This happened just after the property-seller was president-elect, two days into the impasse. As group of Gambian associations and individual businessmen and women showed up to pay allegiance to him, Barrow was caught taking a picture in what looked like his inner-room then. Background of this picture showed what looked like waist-beads.
- REFUSING TO DECLARE HIS ASSETS: I’s prerogative of every president-elect to declare his assets before fully assuming office. The move is done for the purpose of transparency, vetting of which could make forecasting of how much he will be worth in money easy in the future. Barrow did not do this or at least the press hasn’t been told to this day.
- PRAYING FRIDAY AT VARIOUS MOSQUES: This occurred in the early days of the 56-year-old took over office, praying at various mosques. The rationale for this was pinned to advice by marabouts. How true though remains to be seen.
- HAS MORE VICE-PRESIDENTS IN 3 YEARS THAN ANY LEADER: When the going got tough, the bus-driver felt the urge to jettison some passengers off his transport. Mai Ahmed Fatty was the first casualty but he was not a vice-president rather an Interior minister. Fatoumatta Jallow-Tambajang was the first deputy to get kicked out of the presidential villa in an undertaking she largely blames Ousainou Darboe for. Darboe would be named her replacement. However, he too soon head out the exit after a very public spat with his political godson. Isatou Touray is now Barrow’s third deputy, his third in three years.
- EARNING MILLIONS IN EVERY 12 MONTHS: The country’s statesman earns over three million dalasis every twelve months in pre or after tax translating as 15million by end of his first term. This was breaks diown as 250,000 dalasis per month in the words of adviser Dou Sanno.