By Buba Gagigo
Haji Suwaneh, National Youth President of the United Democratic Party (UDP), has called on President Adama Barrow to reverse his decision to appoint Sheriffo Sonko as a protocol and welfare officer at the Gambia Embassy in Turkey.
“I am asking President Barrow to reverse Sheriffo Sonko’s appointment because it is outside the budget allocated to the Embassy, and as a result, his appointment is unlawful. The Minister of Foreign Affairs has acted unlawfully to appoint former Brikama Area Council Chairman Sheriffo Sonko as a Protocol Officer (welfare officer) at the Gambia Embassy in Turkey. This portfolio is not catered for in the Embassy’s budget because this position doesn’t even exist. Thus, how can he be paid for this ghost position?” he asked.
The following are the portfolios that the United Democratic Party National Youth President has identified as existing and being budgeted for at the Gambia Embassy in Turkey:
2. Minister Councilor (deputy ambassador)
3. Defence Attaché
In addition, the following positions are also catered for, according to the Youth President:
1. First Secretary
2. Personal Assistant
5. Cooks, stewards, etc, are all supposed to be local recruits from Turkey.
Mr. Suwaneh accused the president of turning the foreign service into a dumping ground, saying that the only legitimate positions to be filled in Gambia’s Embassy in Turkey are the ones listed above.
“Although we all know that President Barrow has turned the Foreign Service into his dumping ground to satisfy his political allies and surrogates. Sheriffo’s appointment is completely unlawful because the portfolio never existed or was budgeted to cater for such a portfolio at the Gambia Embassy in Turkey.
“The question I have is this: where is the funding going to come from to pay Sheriffo’s salary, since it is outside the budget allocated to the Embassy? Is the National Assembly going to entertain such unlawful appointments?
We are watching and monitoring this poor decision to appoint Sheriffo Sonko,” he said.
The former chairman of the Brikama Area Council (BAC) was last month appointed as Protocol and Welfare Officer at the Gambian Embassy in Turkey.