Gambia’s very tired president, Adama Barrow was caught “taking a needed nap” while U.S. President Donald Trump was delivering a speech at the Islamic-American Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
It is the very first international summit for both real estate developers, who shocked the world with their election victories last winter.
“It is unfortunate that President Barrow had to sleep at the summit but it is evident that he is tired and not well rested before traveling to and upon reaching Saudi Arabia,” said SMBC political analyst Sam Phatey.
“He is taking a needed nap at the wrong time and the wrong place and his protocols have to be blamed for this. They failed in their responsibility to prevent this from happening by not adjusting his schedule.”
Barrow was wearing the same clothing from Friday morning when he arrived in Riyadh the next day. His Foreign Minister Ousainou Darboe seems to have had the chance to go home, freshen up and change his clothes after the resigning of an agreement with China at Barrow’s office before leaving for Saudi.
The Gambian leader had meetings and engagements throughout Friday and when he arrived in Riyadh the next day, according to an official who we cannot name because he is not authorized to speak on the issue.
“Many of his engagements on Friday should have been rescheduled and when we arrived here in Saudia, they should have been aware of the time difference and allow him to rest instead of having him engaged here and there,” the official said.
“This why he is president and not minister of everything. Other members of the delegation could have taken cared of some other things. Not everyone has to meet and talk with the president.”
But Barrow is not as old as Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, who probably may not necessarily be sleeping but trying to rest his eyes from the bright beautiful chandeliers in the conference room.
Maybe, Mr. Barrow did not want to hear Mr. Trump’s hullabaloo after campaigning on anti-Muslim agenda to become U.S. President. However, it turned out is the first Trump speech that has received a round of applause from the U.S. media.
In all fairness to Mr. Barrow, what seems to be like Guyana’s President, David Granger and a member of his delegation were also fast asleep.
Sam Phatey says while he is sympathetic to Mr. Barrow, he calls what happened a ‘disappointment’ and hopes protocol officers learn from this and prevent it from ever happening again.
Not having enough sleep comes with the job of leading a country. Maybe Mr. Barrow could have engaged his political Godfather, Mr. Darboe or take some of that good Arabian herbal tea to stay awake.