No one deserves to have their character be defined by a single incident, be that good or bad. A person cannot be deemed to a be a good person because they did a singular act of goodness nor can they be labeled as bad because they made a bad decision at some point.
But when a person of freewill has shown consistency along a certain line of conduct, then it is safe to assume that is who they are and defining them based on that conduct is not wrong. Humans are limited in their capacity, and although no condition is permanent, our judgments are influenced by verifiable facts.
President Adama Barrow has shown a consistent pattern of deceptiveness, dishonesty, and betrayal of trust, vindictiveness, a glaring lack of interest to grow and greed. Anyone who does not see that President Barrow is not the kind of leader The Gambia needs at this time, or ever is either in denial or is doing so out of some self-serving interest.
Everybody deserves a chance and to be given the benefit of the doubt to prove the skeptic wrong; even where the odds seem insurmountable, we like to stand on the sidelines and scream to our kids “you can do it” just to encourage them to exert some more effort.
But President Barrow, despite the tremendous goodwill and unmatched support he rode on to power has shown consistently that he has no desire to improve our condition and that he only cares about the presidency and the perks attached to it. He is in absolute disbelief that he is actually THE president of a country and does not only take pride in the opportunity handed to him on a silver platter, he constantly reminds himself that he is the president of the country. In one setting he even stated that even when he is no longer president, he will be referred to as ex-president. For a man who claims he never had any presidential ambitions, he certainly is relishing the presidency and has categorically stated that he is not budging from the seat without a fight. His oft cited one liner that there is “no backdoor to the presidency” applies ONLY to his ascension story rather than anyone else.
In the decades of the fight against tyranny, he had never once been seen at a political rally making pronouncements or challenging the status quo at the time. He was literally forced to come forward with assured support to fill the void left in the party when the entire executive of the party was arrested and jailed for demanding their rights in a tyrannical state.
That support, having been delivered to him as promised, saw him smooth sail to the presidency only to turn around and deride the same people who made him. Greed set in, he shunned every good counsel and counselor. The only counsel he wants to hear was that he is indispensable and anyone who does not sing that tune was let go of. Now, he is surrounded by sycophants and those who just want to survive by sucking up to him. Mai Fatty joined his advisory team to the chagrin of many of us because we know Barrow does not care for god counsel. But He found that out himself, being the decent young man he is, he reverted back to his party politics and abandoned the man he considers a friend. Even though he did not say so explicitly, his decision to part ways with the president leaves the impression that the president was beyond redemption.
Barrow has proven that he is insincere, lacks integrity, unwilling to learn, does not value the concerns of citizens and clearly lacks the capacity to lead. Whatever one’s explanation is as to why Barrow is a failed leader, fact remains he is a failed leader and that is all that matters as it stands and that makes the choice one between a Gambia held captive by greed, ineptitude and grinding poverty or a Gambia freed from it.
Unfortunately a lot have resigned themselves to the conviction that The Gambia deserves Barrow as leader and deserves the utterly ‘poor country’ designation it now carries because the goodwill that brought Barrow to power has been squandered thanks to political machinations. Such people will rather see a Gambia saddled with Barrow as our collective punishment for what they deem as betrayal of the marriage of convenience that brought Barrow to power. The proverbial “cutting the nose to spite the face” scenario is what we are witnessing.