EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, THE GAMBIA: A senior official of Gambia’s former government has told Eye Africa TV how the 2016 defeated former President Yahya Jammeh used to be rigid in his approval of his cabinet ministers and other senior government officials travel clearance.
The source, who preferred to remain anonymous said, “As far as I now, for all the time I was in government, Jammeh himself would approve all travels clearances of top government official. I can tell you that even former Vice President Isatou Njie-Saidy’s travel clearance was once disapproved by Yahya Jammeh in my presence.”
On Monday, the country’s youth and sports minister Henry Gomez abruptly announced he has dissolved the National Youth Service Scheme (NYSS) and send its executive director on leave. That caused anger in many people, including young people who linked it to grievance after scheme’s board rejected a one million dalasi request from the ministry as contribution towards overseas travel.
The former government said President Barrow needs to know what is going on. “In spite of everything we are saying about Jammeh, I think it is clear to everyone that it was him (Jammeh who did the wrong but he did not allow anyone to do wrong.”
He said there is no way that Yahya Jammeh would approve unrealistic travel clearance of a minister just like that. “He disapproves his ministers travel clearances and even some times reduce per-diems. So if Barrow does not stand on his heels; it will be disastrous to him and his government.”
The official, who manned several positions in the Jammeh-led government said President barrow must take full control of his government travel issues and he must equally be bold enough to offend his ministers. “You cannot be president and try to please everybody. It is very unfortunate that Barrow is surrounded by insincere people. I understand that Per-diem has been even increased now,” he said.
Our source say he is confident that there are many illegalities going on within government ministries but it was unfortunate to Minister Gomez that his own is the first to be revealed.