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GAMBIA: DID MINISTER ABBA SANYANG RESIGN OR WAS HE FORCED OUT? – OPEN GAMBIA PLATFORM SHEDS LIGHT

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President Barrow Accepted Minister Abba Sanyang’s Resignation and the statement Cited the relevant sections of the 1997 constitution.

The reason stated is Mr Sanyang’s resignation, effective 1st July 2023, for personal reasons contravening his position as a Cabinet Minister.

Eyebrows were raised when many people heard the news because one Senior Officer hardly resigned on principles, not even when their health didn’t allow them to serve effectively.

The more eye-catching reason stated in the press release is his conduct for personal reasons has contravened his position as a Cabinet Minister. The statement raised concerns due to the lack of transparency and accountability in how he left office. The wording of the information warrants questions about whether the Minister resigned or was pushed out for committing a crime!

The President, as the leader of the executive branch of government, must be transparent in handling the saga by following due process and the rule of law in the interest of good governance. The government can’t continue to ignore transparency and accountability as corruption festers for political expediency.

There are many allegations made against the Minister of Local Government and Lands (Aba Sanyang) that are attributed to the resignation. Among them is Aba’s failure to pass on donations he received to finance the government political party (NPP) campaigns, the Illegal sale of Lands allocated for his financial benefit, Mishandling of the Mecca pilgrimage and profiteering from the arrangement of the missions.

A senior government official who spoke to Open Gambia Platform (OG) anonymously highlighted the former minister’s problem isn’t that he was corrupt; instead, it’s how he handled transactions. We asked him to elaborate, and he told us that Minister Sanyang failed to give a significant share to most of the senior officers that facilitated the transactions, especially President Adama Barrow. He continues to emphasise that all Ministries and Parastatal are entirely corrupt; it’s a well know culture to be generous with kickbacks and ensure the President has his fair share of the deal.

The Senior Officer further expanded the discussion by revealing that Minister Abba Sanyang would likely have been removed from Cabinet for reasons other than the corruption controversy during the pending cabinet reshuffle, given that Minister Sanyang has outlived his usefulness to the regime. The new undertakers of the Barrow administration (handling the Barrow Succession plan) are rearranging the government, and a significant movement of personnel in cabinet and senior government positions will follow.

The Senior Officer we spoke to a few days ago was vindicated yesterday (02/07/23) when the government announced the rotation of the Senior government positions of Permanent and Deputy Permanent secretaries. He did tell us the most important strategy of this realignment is the relocation of Mr Assan Jallow (Husband of NPP Women Mobiliser) from the Agriculture Ministry to the President’s office as he’s within the circle of the regime undertakers.

OG enquired about the fate of Minister Sanyang with all these allegations hanging over his head and reported that the President is very angry with him. The Senior Officer reminded us of Minister Sanyang’s significant role in the APRC Election Fraud machine that helped elect President Barrow. He pointed out that Mr Sanyang, whiles serving as Regional Governor in the Central River Region, facilitated the movement of a huge number of foreign voters within CRR and across other regions, a task he executed to perfection when he was regional governor. This performance earned him his appointment as Lands Minister in May 2022 after Barrows’s victory.

The Senior Officer suspected Barrow would be cautious not to open the can of worms by revealing the corruption in the other sectors and for Mr Sanyang not to spill the beans on the elections fraud.

Finally, the Senior Officer cautioned the opposition and Gambians to watch out for the new reconstruction of the National People’s Party (NPP) in preparation for the 2026 cycle of elections. The new Barrow regime caretakers are at work to reshape the party by reorganising the government and the NPP structure and their elections winning strategy, which includes electoral fraud as it becomes a norm in West Africa.

He pointed to the latest electoral fraud case in Freetown, masterminded by the same private organisation participating in voter fraud in Africa, especially Western Africa, and the recent brief meeting held at the Banjul airport VIP terminal by President Bio and Adama Barrow during President Bio stopover.

He noted that all these governments Parties are employing the same private arrangement for strategic election rigging as prevailed in Kenya, Nigeria, The Gambia, Senegal, and Sierra Leone and is likely to happen in the upcoming elections in Liberia.

Finally, it’s ironic that the minister who has oversight over local government agencies, Municipalities, Lands and Religious Affairs had been compelled to step down for reasons of corruption in these institutions.

The schoolgirl veil case is making slow progress in the high courts. The presidential commissions must wind up their activities swiftly to minimise huge costs taxpayers are groaning under. One wonders whether these public officers get accustomed to the shame of this series of contradictions and inconsistencies being allied to grand corruptions in high places and fallout over inequitable sharing of loot grabbed under the holding of key public officers.

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PLATFORM community! Article contributed by Sulayman Ben Suwareh 04/07/2023!

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