It is a norm for a vice president or certain ministers to be seen to be spokespersons of a government. Such people are often very close to the president and would usually state government policy or make decisions with confidence without any fear of rebuttal from the head of state.
Ousman Sonko was seen by the foreign envoys in the Gambia to be that type of minister. He was part of all sensitive foreign missions. He was conceived, rightly or wrongly, to be overseeing missions taken by other ministers to represent the country. Today one cannot point out any minister who is granted that clout.
Who is now the strongman or woman of the government whose opinion could be deemed to represent its position? That is the million dollar question.