What Ba Tambedou’s abrupt resignation laid bare before the entire Gambians and the world is that his ‘service’ to the country was hinged to personal benefits. But this is hardly surprising to anyone keenly observing the situation of our country post Yahya Jammeh Presidency.
For 22 years that Yahya Jammeh and his cabal were running wild in our country with impunity, Ba was on the sideline doing almost nothing as easy as lending voice to the scared and battered Gambians. Ironically, Ba quickly became first beneficiaries of New Gambia after Yahya Jammeh was defeated and sent to exile. This, in some ways, alluded to the lack of preparedness in the Coalition camp to govern from Day One. I don’t blame them entirely: Yahya Jammeh’s style of government, his oppression and brutality had pretty much turned all of our political parties into activists with little or no time to set mechanisms to run a government. Ba saw this fundamental loophole as an opportunity to make his way to one of the most coveted and trusted Ministries of the transition programs, Attorney General and Minister of Justice. This portfolio was a big deal and remains so.
For the majority of Gambians, we are not sad that Ba has resigned but we are especially aghast by both the timing and reason behind his sudden departure. During his tenure as the Minister and Principal Legal Adviser to the President, we have witnessed monumental legal blunders that merited reasonable resignation from Ba Tambedou but he refused to go. When confessed Murderers were released into the society they harmed and terrorized, Ba lost confidence and faith victims of Yahya Jammeh’s Presidency yet he resisted the call to go. When his family was embroiled major diplomatic passport scandal, we thought the honorable thing to do was for him to resign but Ba declined in the most arrogant fashion rarely displayed in public. His defense of Cabinet’s White Paper on Janneh Commission’s Findings and Reports in which goverment selectively targeted some while shielding indicted other criminals working within the system received an overwhelming public rebuke and backlash. Ba did not find wisdom in himself to step aside. And Recently, his involvement and handling of the disposition of Yahya Jammeh’s stolen assets has raised genuine eyebrows and efforts for detail explanation, clarity and transparency have gathered steam but nothing satisfactory is coming out of them.
The above examples and many more could not drive away from his lucrative government perks but as soon as he landed another lucrative and convenient UN job, he bolted for the exit, leaving the country with piles of mess which may take unprecedented time and efforts to clean up. I will not go as far as calling him UNPATRIOTIC but I have strong RESERVATIONS about his sincerity and commitment to public service and safeguarding of public interests. If anything, Ba Tambedou has demonstrated beyond doubt that his personal interests trump public benefits and he will choose himself over Gambia any day just has he had done for Jammeh’s 22 years. Sadly, the Barrow administration is dominated by such self-serving official with almost everyone jostling for what benefits them and their families at the expense of the country.
We wish his replacement, Hon Dawda Jallow, all the best of luck. We hope that he will move quickly restore public faith and confidence to the Ministry, press the reset button, clean up his predecessor’s mess and redirect the Ministry to the course of transitional justice. May God bless, guide and protect him in taking up the call to serve his country at this critical time. May he succeed where Ba had failed toward our common goal. Ameen!