The famous former executive director of the National Youth Council Lamin Darboe has spoken for the first time about his removal from the council which angered many of his devoted admirers who have threatened to stage a protest over his sacking. In a write up on his Facebook page, Darboe explained:
Today marks one month since my services were unlawfully terminated as the Executive Director of the National Youth Council (NYC). It’s as well been one month since I wrote a petition to the Secretary General and Head of Civil Service and I’ve not yet received any reply.
I must admit that the circumstances of my leaving office as Executive Director are not pleasant. But I am not sad or bitter. I am of course disappointed that those who by the stroke of their pen terminated my services had not put country – the interest of the youth – first before self.
Nonetheless, I thank Allah the Almighty for my life, strength and wisdom to serve my country – and the youth against all odds.
I loved my job. I respected my job. I valued my work. I had left better paying job for it. I sacrificed my career for it. For me, serving my country when its most needed – and at the apex of youth matters in particular- wasn’t just to earn my keep. It was an honour. It was fulfilling. The staff have been phenomenally committed, hardworking and professional. I enjoyed your company. I learnt a lot from you and I will remain grateful. And if I have offended anyone of you during course of our work, please accept my apologies and you’re forgiven. I didn’t intend to hurt anyone.
To the youth, I am overwhelmed by your show of support and solidarity. You’re worth serving. I don’t have the right words to express the deep feelings of gratefulness. Not that I am surprised. We are one. We’ve always been one. And we will always be one regardless of the God we worship, the language we speak, our backgrounds or our individual differences.
We’ve come far in our reforms for the freedom and development of youth. Let us continue to march forward. Rest assured that I will be by your side. After seeing what I have seen from you, my conviction is greater today than it has ever been. This is not the time to give up on our aspirations for our country – and the youth.
Deep down, in my heart, lies the young people of The Gambia. This love I shall never forfeit! Whether I am the Executive Director of The Gambia National Youth Council (NYC) or not, I shall remain resolute and committed to the course of young people. This is a duty on my part, a duty that I must continue to discharge with passion and diligence.
Yes, I did receive a letter of termination on 24th June 2020. I responded to it on 25th June 2020, duly served to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports. I also filed a petition for unlawful termination to the office of the Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service on 25th June.
While the Permanent Secretary of MOYS responded, maintaining their position, I am yet to receive any response from the Secretary General on the faith of my petition. I have decided to hand over on July 3rd not because I recognize the decision as legitimate. I have handed over in the interest of youth and the nation.
Let me clarify some issues for records.
Firstly, I do not know why my services were terminated. The onus is on my appointing authority to provide clear explanation.
Secondly, contrary to what was stated by the MoYS, I wasn’t serving as Acting Executive Director. I was duly appointed as Executive Director.
My work speaks for itself. I took over an organization whose reputation was stained and sustainability was at risk. The youth were losing confidence in their own organisation, weakening the legitimacy.
The turn around wasn’t easy. But, with teamwork, commitment and passion, vision and competence, we have to a degree of appreciation, transformed the NYC; restored the trust of the people, diversified sources of funding and expanded our capacity development and institutional building programmes in all areas. The rest of what happened is a story for journalists.
That said, lest we remind ourselves, the surge in the COVID-19 infection rates in the Gambia is worrisome and requires our collective responses. And us, the young people have a sacred duty to protect ourselves, families, communities and country. A duty we must continue to cherish, to honour, and live up to. And now!.”