By Buba Gagigo
Seedy Ceesay, the Administrative Secretary of the National People’s Party (NPP), characterizes President Adama Barrow as a visionary leader. In defending the president’s efforts to enhance the energy sector, Ceesay contends that Barrow’s approach surpasses that of former presidents Jawara and Jammeh.
Ceesay commended President Barrow’s swift actions, attributing them to his innovative mindset and understanding of genuine concerns. Highlighting Barrow’s background as a businessman, Ceesay emphasized the president’s awareness of the average Gambian’s needs, citing his past involvement in housing and caring for the less privileged.
“What President Barrow is doing is fast track because he’s a man with ideas. He understands the real issues. He’s a businessman, and he understands what the average Gambian needs. This man was dealing with housing, and we all know how poor people live in those houses, how he accommodated them, how he cared for them,” he said.
The former Brikama Area Council Chairmanship candidate also underscored President Barrow’s passion and empathy for the Gambian people. Ceesay emphasized the urgency of addressing energy challenges, particularly for individuals whose livelihoods depend on activities like selling ice. He urged an honest assessment of the issue, asserting that the problems in the energy sector predate Barrow’s presidency and laying blame on the financial mismanagement of previous administrations.
“And when it comes to understanding energy, a poor mother who sells Ice cannot stop selling that ice because it’s her daily bread. We need to get energy to make that work. And then we will have permanent energy that will solve this problem once and for all. But the problem did not start with President Barrow, and it is important for those who are honest to understand the real issues. The real issue is that, from Sir Dawda to Yahya Jammeh and more importantly, Sir Dawda and Yahya Jammeh have made NAWEC and GUC bankrupt, and that’s the fact. Today, we cannot put our heads in blankets and pretend this is all President Barrow’s problem. It is not President Barrow’s problem, it is our problem,” he said.
Ceesay argued that the National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC) was rendered bankrupt in capacity during the tenure of the two former presidents. Drawing on his personal experience growing up within the energy sector, he stressed the need to move beyond political rhetoric and confront the stark reality of the country’s energy challenges.
“The reality is that we find our energy sector bankrupt in capacity, in resources, and NAWEC should be honest enough to tell us what was the reality. This is not politics; I don’t come and talk about politics; I talk about reality because I grew up in that institution. From school, I go to Kotu, from school, I go to halfdie. So we don’t build the capacity, we are micromanaging our energy, forgetting the reality our country is going.
The NPP Administrative Secretary highlighted President Barrow’s initiatives, such as the OMVG project and collaborations with Senegal, as positive steps toward resolving the energy crisis.
“In 2017, Barrow said we cannot leave our lives like that, we have to look for immediate solutions that will remedy the situation. Let’s get Car power, let’s get a connection from Senegal, and make things at least better. But what is actually happening? We are building those high tensions now. The OMVG project, all the way from Jarra Soma you see the high-tensions are coming,” he said.
He acknowledged ongoing efforts in various regions of the Gambia, including solar projects in Jambur, developments in Jabang, and progress in Brikama. However, Ceesay urged a sense of urgency, cautioning that delays in addressing the energy crisis have tangible consequences for the citizens. He concluded by expressing confidence that President Barrow is steering the country towards readiness and resilience in the face of energy challenges.
“We have seen the solar firm in Jambur; we have seen what is happening in Jabang; we have seen what is happening in Brikama. So these works are going, but the fact of the matter is that “washing hands takes too long for hungry people’. Gambia is never ready, and President Barrow is making this country ready,” he said.