By Ebrima G. Sankareh, Editor-in-Chief
Less than 12 hours to the long-awaited naming and swearing in of President Adama Barrow’s new Cabinet, The Gambia Echo can unassailably confirm 10 of the 11 members of the newly appointed ministers and their portfolios. We can also report with absolute certainty, that not a single member of the People’s Democratic Organization For Independence & Socialism (PDOIS), will sit in Adama Barrow’s Coalition Cabinet.
For now though, let us look at the Barrow Cabinet: Leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP) and careerist Banjul barrister, A.N.M. Ousainou Darboe, is new Minister of Foreign Affairs; UDP’s National Treasurer, Mr. Amadou Sanneh, who walked out of Mile II State Central Prisons less than 24 hours ago, becomes President Barrow’s Minister of Finance & Economic Affairs, UDP’s Senior Administrative Secretary and erstwhile UDP NAM, Hon. Lamin Dibba who was incarcerated with Lawyer Darboe and numerous others, is new Local Government & Lands Minister; Leader of the National Reconciliation Party (NRP), Hon. Hamat N.K. Bah is Minister of Tourism; Leader of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and veteran politician, Hon. Omar Amadou Jallow (OJ) is Minister of Agriculture, former Banjul Mayor and PPP firebrand, James Furmus Gomez, is new Minister Forestry & Fisheries, Lawyer Ba Tambedou, is Attorney General & Minister of Justice, Leader of the Gambia Moral Congress and Banjul barrister, Mr. Mai Ahmad Fatty, is new Minister of The Interior, Leader of The Gambia Party for Democracy and Progress (GPDP) and Hamburg, Germany resident, Mr. Henry Gomez is Youth, Sports & Culture Minister, and Dr. Isatou Jarra Touray Independent Candidate and first woman Presidential contender who joined the 2016 Opposition Coalition, is new Trade, Industry & Employment Minister. (These ones we can confirm with absolute authenticity!)
While The Gambia Echo cannot confirm its veracity, we have gathered from our highly-placed sources that there is another gentleman whose last name is also, Dibba, and a close relative of the named Local Government and Lands Minister, who may head the Health Ministry but as we went to press, that is only a matter of conjecture. We had quizzed our sources to verify if they were not mistaking veteran schoolteacher Hon. Jereba Jammeh of Essau, Lower Nuimi, North Bank Region, who now leads the National Convention Party (NCP) with another Dibba Minister, but our sources maintain “it’s also a Mr. Dibba from Salikenni village, and a much younger person”. It remains to be seen who that person turns out to be in the next few hours.
According to our unimpeachable sources both Hons. Halifa Sallah and Sidia Jatta of the PDOIS will be members of Adama Barrow’s proposed “Think Tank— Agency For Sustainable Socio-Economic Development (ASSED). Hon. Halifa Sallah will be the Chairperson of ASSED, which comprises 7 experts in the areas of Politics, Civil, Economic, Social, Culture and the Environment to coordinate the mobilization of experts who would prepare the developmental blueprint of the new government. Our highly-placed sources also revealed that the Sallah –led ASSED is tasked with vetting job applicants and potential employees relative to their academic qualifications, competence and professional integrity.