By: Almamo Kamaso
“There is a lot of undetected corruption going on within our system and unless such corrupt practices are stop there is no way that we can develop as a nation.”
So, declared the National Assembly member for Upper Nuimi, Hon. Omar Darboe during an exclusive interview with this paper conducted at Tendaba Resort last week.
Hon. Darboe says procurement for government bodies serves as a major cause of corruption and undetected corruption for that matter; and “the menace is taking a chunk of tax payers’ monies into private pockets. He argues that procurement officers deal with suppliers and prices of goods and services are inflated for personal benefits.
Darboe who was born in Nuimi Lamin Village and brought up in the coastal village of Gunjur in Kombo South District, bags Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture and several other certificates and diplomas in various other disciplines. He is married and blessed with children.
He attended Gunjur primary school from grades 1-5 and sat to the Common Entrance Examination which catapulted him to Latri Kunda Junior Secondary where he did his secondary education from 1994 to 1997. And later went to Muslim High School from 1997-2000, and sat to the Grade 12 Exams.
Hon Darboe still in pursuance of higher education got admission to the Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI) and studied Advance Level Law in the areas of Contract, Criminal and English legal system from 2000 to 2001. From 2002/3 he enrolled in the Business Training College where he did English language and got an Advance level.
In 2004 he got himself a job at NARI, a research place of work, and later went to College to do Higher Diploma (HDA) in agriculture from 2004/7. Hon Darboe further went on to the UTG and studied Agriculture from 2013/15 and bagged bachelor’s degree.
Darboe began his political career by being elected to the position of President of Gambia College’s main student union of 2006/7.
Asked what motivated him into partisan politics, Hon Darboe said: “I wanted to make some vivid changes in the politics of the country. What used to be said and done is politicians giving too many promises with little delivery”, so for him that is not what he would like to see happen, he started by speaking his mind and not making any big promises he said things only that he could deliver on and that is where he made a difference.
Another motivating factor for him was as he grew up, he saw his late father actively participating in partisan politics. He was a committee member of the defunct PPP, and later UDP where he rose to the position of a regional chairperson. “I am just motivated and following the footsteps of my late father” Hon Darboe said
In view of the above Hon Darboe told Daily News that in April 2017 he was approached by his people at village level to the constituency level to run for the parliamentary position under a UDP ticket.
To respond to: what can you look back after one and half year in office as MP and say this is my achievement? Hon. Darboe said during his campaigns one of the messages were that if elected into office he would first have to put in place a constituency development committee as a the basis of his development agenda. This, he said, he succeeded in doing as it is now registered and up and running. The committee has branches in some other parts of the world such as UK, USA and other European countries where members of his constituency reside.
Another tangible achievement he underscored is that he was able to secure 12 boreholes which would be dug at various communities across his constituency for both agricultural and domestic purposes. One of the boreholes is already dug and the remaining 11 would soon be implemented.
In his developmental drive, Hon Darboe said he was able to convince the NEMA project in constructing a 15 Km stretch connecting Ndunku-Kebbeh village and Jurunku, making easy access to farms and residential places for the communities living in the area.
Hon Darboe told the Daily News that he and his team were also able to get 72KM road construction from Central government road project to cover the Hakalang, from Buniadou to Kuntair village.
For agricultural development as most Gambians are farmers, he was able to get a tractor through Supersonic Company which entered into contract with his people as partners and more than 500 farmers will benefit from this partnership.
Asked to comment on the controversial Barrow Youth Movement, the MP for Upper Nuimi raised eyebrows over the formation of the movement, saying he was not in support of the movement. The member categorically said he was not in support of the movement; because as an elected member of the National Assembly under a UDP ticket it was only prudent for him to support the UDP movement as any other movement would undermine the support base of his party. “Therefore, I for one cannot support any movement and party other than the UDP Youth Movement,” he stressed. “My take is that people should not base their support on personalities but on partisan basis. Political movements must carry their party names rather than individual names.”
Turning his attention on to the recent Faraba clashes, the Upper Nuimi parliamentarian calls for the resignation of the Interior Minister who he said, was until his appointment as Minister was the Governor of West Coast Region and under whose watch the Faraba-batang saga began leading to the unfortunate killing of three. Hon. Darboe argues that since the former IGP at the time has resigned, what is his boss, the Minister of Interior waiting for?
On the recent cabinet reshuffle, Hon Darboe hails it as a “welcomed and timely move” that President Barrow took. He congratulated President Barrow for taking the bull by the horn. He pledged his support for the government and assured Barrow the support of his colleagues and their readiness to collectively defend the development agenda of the Barrow government.
Hon. Darboe concluded by saying that he looked forward to a totally transformed Gambia including the three arms of the government, such as judiciary, executive and the legislature.
By: Almamo Kamaso