By Yankuba Darboe
The Government Spokesperson, Ebrima G Sankareh, claimed that his Press Release of 19 August 2018, was supposedly aimed at alleviating our burden of propping or propagating unsubstantiated claims, and to clarify the nature and circumstances of the mysterious 11 Million Dalasis magnanimous gift to Gambian pilgrims. The story which had its provenance in the government’s own Radio and Television Services (GRTS).
However, the government spokesperson’s Press Release could not be more unsubstantiated in its clarifications of our unsubstantiated claims! Though it confirmed the story was true that 11 Million was indeed splashed out to our not-so-less-fortunate pilgrims, but attempted to distance that magnanimity from President Barrow, as earlier reported by GRTS, which attracted the wrath of the public. It however failed to substantiate who was responsible for discrediting that magnanimous benefactor of his much deserved praise in favour of the President.
Instead the Press Release claimed that that magnanimous gift was from another anonymous benefactor friend of our president, who happens to be in Saudi Arabia. Quite simply, one cannot get an unsubstantiated claim than that.
Saudi Arabia is a country of many million Dalasi millionaires and anyone of them could be the magnanimous philanthropist to our poor Gambian pilgrims, in their ‘arduous hour’ of need! But is that really true that all of our pilgrims are struggling financially to require such benevolence, when one of the cardinal prerequisite for Hajj is affordability! That pilgrims must be able to afford the financial demands of Hajj before embarking on it!!
Hence the Press Release, instead of substantialising the rightful recipient of the magnanimous praise, gave us a country of many millions to thank. So much for substantiation, we have no name to verify the story from, neither the amount he has donated to satisfy our curiosity for accountability.
Despite those shortcomings, the Press Release preached that our- not-so-magnanimous- President, who was presented as such by GRTS misinformation, “stands out as a committed democratic reformer who wants to leave a legacy anchored in international norms and values of transparency, accountability”.
My god how could one reconcile transparency and accountability with anonymity in the same press release!
It is unfortunate that Mr Ebrima G Sankareh thought we are that gullible to fall for his charade. Our former President used to have “Allah’s Bank” our new President has “Anonymous Benefactor”; he can try as much spin as he wishes to feign the similarities between the two, but their resemblance is too palpable to be mistaken!
Different words may be employed to construct the phraseology, but their initials still remain the same A and B.