Mr. Editor, in the interest of free speech, democracy, and a right to reply on issues of public debate about The Gambia, allow me to contribute to the fraudulent charges and misinformation Mama Kandeh peddled against Imam Baba Leigh and the wider Gambian public, especially the diaspora or struggle, during the Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC) Brikama rally over the weekend, and to also dilate on other relevant issues under consideration of the GDC presidential aspirant and his party.

Fitting, as usual, you gave Imam Leigh the opportunity to reply on air, and the venerable Imam, habitually, never misses an opportunity. His reply was dignified, succinct to the point, and ultimately exposed the “fraudulent” personality of the GDC presidential aspirant.  Imam Leigh challenged Mama Kandeh and the GDC speakers at the rally to produce the evidence in which he decreed or tried to force Mama Kandeh to join the coalition.  The Imam further debunked Kandeh’s claims, inter alia, that he [The Imam] with the diaspora or struggle, while sitting in the comfort of their homes in the West continue to incite disorder in The Gambia.  In the end, Gambians, especially your listeners, had the opportunity, after listening to both sides, fully informed to separate who – Mama Kandeh or Imam Leigh – is the wolf in sheep clothing.

Mr. Editor, your Leral Show, by coincidence, illuminated and further corroborate the venerable Imam’s consistent and flawless personality by broadcasting a forum, nearly two decades ago, of the vision the Imam envisaged of The Gambia under our dictator and the APRC.  And this forum was around the same time Mama Kandeh was an opposition figure with Hamat Bah’s National Reconciliation Party (NRP).  Kandeh later saw the greener grass across the pond and hence joined the gravy train of the APRC.  Undaunted, Hamat Bah and Imam Leigh stood ground, and to this day, maintained their fight for the rule of law, justice, and equal rights in our country.  This is why the tapes you broadcast speak volume and vindicate Imam Leigh and Hamat Bah.  It tells Gambians also that there is a history that will be written in the future, and all should desire to be quoted positively when that time comes.

Gambians are alive to Imam Leigh’s rare sermons and newspaper interviews during the first to the second republic, and to this day, in speaking truth to power.  Gambians will bear testimony to the Imam’s principled position when the dictator executed the Mile 2 Nine for rituals.  And of utmost importance is the Imam’s tenacity after five months of having been illegally and savagely condemned to a hole at Bambadingka.  The Imam came out, resolute, honorable, and a stellar among few Gambians to shun patronage, and defiantly continue to expose the corrupt and cancerous vermin, that is Yahya Jammeh and his APRC party.

While the Imam was standing up for Gambia, Kandeh had abandoned genuine compatriots like Hamat Bah, and defenseless Gambians.  Kandeh sold his soul to the devil, Yahya Jammeh, and his APRC party, only to be expelled a decade or so down the line.  And this time, he shamelessly – as is his democratic right – reinvented his chameolonic charisma into a political party intent on defrauding Gambians.

When Kandeh joined the gravy APRC train, he got elected as a legislator, and conspired with the executive over a long period of time in passing some of the most obnoxious Acts in the National Assembly.  And of relevance, Mr. Editor, is the Information and Communications Act 2009, subsequently tabled for amendment in the Assembly by Nana Grey-Johnson.  This Act made it to our law books and criminalizes legitimate news houses, like Freedom Newspaper, to jail terms of up to 15 years or in the alternative a D3 million fine, or both, if found guilty in the despot’s kangaroo courts.  Today, these are the same targeted media houses Mama Kandeh tries to use to get his message across.

A further investigation of the National Assembly’s Hansard – record of proceedings and individual contributions from parliamentarians, has informed us that Kandeh’s stint as a parliamentarian was a lost opportunity.  No bill was opposed by Kandeh, in the face of genuine representations from minority leaders, independent and opposition MPs.  Kandeh has always been whipped by the majority leader, like a Pavlovian dog, to support APRC draconian bills.  The records are there and Kandeh is challenged to provide Freedom Newspaper with such publication in matching the venerable Imam’s advocacy record for our motherland, as revealed in the tapes.

Another startling difference between Kandeh and the venerable Imam is their concept of public duty, its execution, and their public perception of integrity.  To this day, even in adversity, Imam Leigh is seen hopping around the United States on religious and political events.  Unlike Kandeh, Gambians are privy to the fact that he spent an enormous amount of time in Dakar, Senegal.  Senegal has the highest number of Gambians and Gambian political refugees.  If Mama Kandeh was well meaning for Gambians, why didn’t he attempt to or organize a Town Hall Meeting with those persecuted and respectable Gambians who socialized and played host to his political godfather, Buba Baldeh, in the Senegalese capital?  Did Mama Kandeh ever bother to meet the family of Solo Sandeng in Dakar to convey solidarity on behalf of the GDC party and himself?  Not that we hear of.  Clearly, Mama’s is a project of self, whereas the Imam is very Gambian at heart.

Mr. Editor, you are on record as urging restraint by opposition parties and their surrogates in the run up to 1st December 2016, and to respect everyone’s freedom to associate.  From Adama Barrow, Hamat Bah, Halifa Sallah, Omar Jallow (OJ), Dr. Lamin Bojang, Mai Fatty, Henry Gomez and Dr. Isatou Touray, no one among these leaders is quoted personally attacking Mama Kandeh’s person.  The distinction should be made between attacks by leaders or their surrogates.  Mama Kandeh has been quoted of personally disparaging Hamat Bah and the NRP, which he Mama Kandeh denied ever giving an interview to The Standard Newspaper. Kandeh is further quoted as labelling Gomez and Mai Fatty’s parties as non-governmental organizations; not opposition political parties.  This charge has not been refuted by Kandeh.  It is dishonorable, disrespectful, and rich coming from someone who, for over a decade, has been an accomplice of the criminal cartel who continue to terrorize our defenseless people.

On the allegations or reports by Standard Newspaper of Kandeh’s remarks, if Kandeh wants us to believe that he’s been defamed by Standard Newspaper, the Gambian courts are there to bring an action against the Standard Newspaper.  If he rubbishes the publication as a conspiracy to puncture his political project and want us to believe that the report is not credible, then I am afraid, Gambians have now known the true Mama Kandeh.  Mama and his GDC can remain delusional, but I conclude with Bob Marley’s wise counsel: “The lips of the righteous teach many, but fools die for want of wisdom.”

Written By An Insdier 

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