Gambia’s President Adama Barrow has handed over the security services of the small West African nation to a logistics specialist, replacing ousted political strongman, Mai Ahmad Fatty.
Habib Saihou Drammeh has been appointed the country’s Minister of Interior just three weeks after Fatty’s surprise ouster. Drammeh has no security or law background having spent decades in human resources, strategic and tourism management, marketing and business administration.
According to Press Secretary Amie Bojang Sissoho, Mr. Drammeh has a Master of Business Administration in Corporate Strategy and industrial policy from Maastricht School of Management in The Netherlands.
He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from the University of Manchester and a Bachelor of Science in Education and Geography from the University of Nigeria.
The security situation in the country remains fragile, putting into question Mr. Barrow’s rationale for putting an inexperienced person in a critical position of this nature. However, some pundits say ministerial positions are political and do not require a security or criminal law specialist to fill in the portfolio of the country’s law enforcement chief.
President Barrow, who is also the Minister of Defense is struggling to take control of the army amid the rolling out of swift reforms with the support of regional powers and the United Nations.
At least a dozen soldiers have been dragged to court last month for attempting to overthrow Mr. Barrow’s government. There is a widespread report that a faction of the army are discontent with the changes made as Barrow attempts to weed out former President Yahya Jammeh’s loyalists.
Drammeh is the brother of a prominent lawyer, Amie Bensouda, who is helping the Barrow government to probe the illicit financial activities of Jammeh. He is to be sworn-in on Wednesday.
Drammeh had lectured for some time at the Gambia’s only public university, the University of The Gambia and was director of the country’s tourism authority under ex-President Jammeh.
Drammeh fell out of favor with Jammeh’s government, which later charged him with economic crimes and giving false information, accusations he denied.
Jammeh later returned him to his government and appointed him the General Manager of the national Transport Service Company (GTSC), a position he held until his appointment as the country’s security minister this week.