By Mustapha Jallow
[Banjul, 13th February, 2023] Foroyaa is reliably informed that there is no written letter rescinding the appointment of Abubakar Darboe. The Chief of Staff at the Office of the President in State-House in Banjul has verbally ordered Yankuba Saidy, the Permanent Secretary at the information ministry to inform Abubakar Darbo that his appointment has been rescinded, a source close to the presidency told Foroyaa on Monday.
“It was on 10th February 2023, when Darbo accepted the appointment, and on the same day around 4 o clock, the permanent secretary received a telephone call and the caller (chief of staff) indicated that there was an issue in Darbo’s appointment – therefore, he (chief of staff) instructed the permanent secretary to do everything possible to write a letter to rescind Darbo’s appointment,’’ the source disclosed.
But the source added that PS Saidy also requested for the order to be officially written to his ministry and not be transmitted verbally. The source said the PS insisted that he took authority from the letter that was received from the office of the President to write that appointment and Malick’s letter. It said PS told the chief of staff that the same procedures should be followed too.
According to the source, the information ministry got approval from the office of the president and the approval was granted on basis of what they stated and then approval was acted on. But PS Saidy did not write to Darbo, instead, he (PS Saidy) told him verbally as he was told verbally by the chief of staff that his appointment has been rescinded.
On January 18, 2023, after completing their assessment – the information ministry wrote to the office of the president recommending for Darbo to replace Malick Jeng since his contract is about to end, said the source.
“It was discussed at the executive meeting. A letter was written on January 12th, 2023. We got approval on the 3rd of February 2023 and it was delivered to the ministry on the 8th of February 2023. And PS Saidy conveyed the current Director General of GRTS’s own letter, to tell him that the executive’s approval has been granted for him to proceed on leave,’’ the source explained.
When contacted to comment on the matter, PS Saidy responded positively. He went on to say that he received an order from the office of the president to tell Darbo that his appointment has been rescinded.
“Yes, it was a verbal order. I did not receive any official letter from O/P [Office of the President] to rescind Darbo’s appointment. But I told Darbo also verbally that his appointment has been rescinded,’’ he told Foroyaa.
What happened was that Saidy explained: “We as the ministry, make a recommendation to the office of the president. And the office of the president, if it accepts our recommendation – would be communicated to us in writing to convey approval. And if it doesn’t also, it will convey to us the same way. So, this recommendation was actually done in January 2023, because the current Director General GRTS – his contract is running out on the 1st of March 2023. Based on our own assessment, we felt it necessary as duty bearers…..because to be in this kind of position is a huge responsibility. It is your responsibility to make sure they meet public expectation. So, we did our own assessment and we felt that if the contract runs out on the 1st March 2023, this is not going to be extended.’’
He said they acted upon what they have stated. A meeting was held at the executive level at which they concluded to seek for approval first of all for Malick Jeng, the current DG-GRTS to go on retirement because he has leave as arrears. The second one, he indicated, was the approval to appoint Abubakarr Darbo in that capacity.
According to Saidy, this was based on only the assessment that they have done and also on gathering other evidence to show who definitely can handle this position.