The Gambian online community has over the weekend overwhelming condemned the establishment of the Adama Barrow Foundation for Inclusive Development.
In a very lengthy Facebook post, the program officer at the Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (TANGO), MadiJobarteh said the country’s newest presidential foundation is an institution of corruption and patronage.
“Let Barrow be informed that in a democracy sitting presidents do not create foundations or institutions in their name. This is because the objectives of such a foundation or institution are the same objectives that the State has – that is to promote the socio-economic development of the Gambia, of which Barrow is the head. Where then is the borderline between his foundation and movement with that of the State?”
Former newspaper editor, Nanama Keita also wrote: “The purpose of the foundation may be well-intentioned, but we can't ignore the fact that such foundations can also be used for political gains. For the record, what has Jammeh Foundation for Peace achieved? Barrow is expected to be a one 5-year term president who should be focused on mapping out ways for good governance reforms than having a foundation in his name.”
Facebook user Dave Dmt also joined the condemnation saying Gambians have every reason to be sceptical about the Adama Barrow Foundation for Inclusive Development.
“YayaJammeh started with such foundations like the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution which later changed into 22nd July Movement. Within a short period of time, this became a militant wing for consolidating Jammeh's grip on power.”
However, one of the founding members of the foundation, Lamin K Saidy argued: “The foundation is born out of the President’s desire to personally contribute to National Development through youth and Women empowerment, provision of clean drinking water, construction of public toilets that are disability friendly.
“Such initiatives are not new. Presidential foundations are universal. Greatest presidents in the world (Bush,Obama, Clinton etc.) all formed such and their impacts are all over the world.
This foundation has nothing to do with politics. The team at the Secretariat will prove critiques wrong.”