Former Minister of Interior Mai Ahmad Fatty on Wednesday criticized President Adama Barrow’s choosing of Musa Suso as his advisor on youth matters.
Fatty, a senior member of the coalition that brought Barrow to power called on the President to put the right people in the right place, saying the country does not lack capable people to take on the job.
“….These include putting the right people to drive youth development policies. It means putting the youth in charge, and the leaders as worthy role models, to inspire and to positively influence. There is no shortage of progressive youth role models for youths in The Gambia,” he said.
Suso was a key youth mobilizer for ex-dictator Jammeh in the country’s biggest electoral constituency, Kombo North. His appointment is seen as a political gimmick by Mr. Barrow to solidify his rule beyond his pledged single term rule.
Jammeh had politically exploited Gambian youths during his decades-long rule. They united against him and overwhelmingly voted for Barrow, hoping for better opportunities.
“Over the past two decades, the role of the youth in national development was heavily distorted by the dictatorship. They were abused and ill-used by politicians, some of whom were narcotic dealers,” said Fatty.
“In the New Gambia, our commitment to change this dastardly phenomenon must be evidenced in clear deeds, not mere words or self-serving decisions.”
Fatty was Barrow’s senior advisor in the months leading to Barrow’s swearing-in. He later became the security minister but was fired just nine months into his tenure.
Barrow has declined to publicly explain the reason(s) behind Fatty’s sudden ouster amid allegations of graft. But there has been renewed calls to have him reinstated following renewed clashes between government and opposition supporters.