News of the removal of Lamin Darboe, the executive director of the National Youth Council NYC was greeted with shock, consternation and outright anger among many Gambian youths. Mr Darboe was removed from office Wednesday with no official reason stated.
The former NYC boss is an internationally respected youth official with a strong reputation for competence and honesty. Ever since his appointment dating back to almost decade, Darboe and his team at NYC made The Gambia famous among African youth organisations as a shining example of youth administration and programming. He was automatic choice in several international youth organisations most of which consider Gambia as a leader in youth administration. The Gambia under his watch hosted important international youth meetings.
When news of his removal became known, Gambian youths and other admirers called it a mistake and urged government to reinstate him for the good of the country. “Lamin Darboe is an inspirational figure whose efficiency and devotion to youth matters is rare. He should not go anywhere,” said Sheikh Ndow, writting on Facebook.
Omar Krubally, another commentator on the subject said the NYS under Lamin Darboe was the first to defy former dictator Yahya Jammeh when he refused to quit power after his defeat in 2016.
“Darboe is too good a servant to be messed with. He should go back to his job. Even Yahya Jammeh recognised the respect Lamin Darboe earned both at home and abroad and have never contemplated of removing him.
“The National Youth Council is not for sale and cannot be use for any political purposes, sacking of Mr. Lamin Darboe must be on genuine grounds and we demand answers.,” Lamin Fatty himself a strong youth activist.
I am not worried about Lamin Darboe, he will be fine! More than that, he will be better off.. The last time I spoke to him about his job, he was preparing the grounds for his exit. He intimated on a number of brilliant and unprecedented structural developments he has introduced in order to leave behind a strong and sustainable institution. Lamin is an asset anywhere. So no I am not worried that he is going to be without a job.
Here is why I found his sacking disturbing:
It’s all too familiar and invokes memories about business under the previous regime: ‘do my political bidding or you are getting the axe’, thereby running the government as a mafia club. That’s to say, ‘ you are either a loyalist or you are on our hit list’, commented Nyima Camara, a lecturer of political science at the University of The Gambia.