Dear Mr President,
After that stunning blow the Gambian people handed out to your government in an exquisite art of the democratic process, I wish to dialogue with you on a range of issues as drama continues to unfold on the streets of Banjul, as played out in the online tabloid press. The opposition-coalition victory displayed democracy at its finest in which neither blood, nor hair, was moved out of place. Rightly so, you alluded to this when you took up to air citing soothing statements, words which may live a millennia. As such, I’m writing you a brief note per detailed in this correspondence. However, the main purpose of the dialogue centres on the status of the presidency, i.e, your remaining time in office, the security implications, and the wider uncertainty over the Banjul situation.
As reported by some pressmen, security concerns remain as long as your regime hold the keys to Banjul. In the United Kingdom and elsewhere, an international media obsessed with the Gambia is gaining steam with daily articles and news bulletins. Mr President, in you concession speech, I carefully noted your use of the word ‘’unprecedented’’, and rightly so. One has to give you credit, and much of the world has, for the manner in which you accepted defeat, gracefully conceding. The Gambia set a precedent, as watched and commented on all across Africa. As Ghana go to the polls today, the Gambia’s elections formula seems fanciful, to be emulated worldwide. From Monrovia, Dakar, to Brussels, the world is fixated on the Gambia closely monitoring the transition, and the actions of various players within. That means you, the security apparatus, the president-elect and his team – we are watching your every move, given an armed military under your command. The sooner you go the better, for the sake of national reconciliation, giving the government-in-wait chance to put their programmes and policies into use.
President Jammeh, indeed you are the architect of your own downfall. For starters, attempts at narrowing the democratic space should’ve raised red-flag, but for a rubber-stamped parliament. You followed this with closed-knit cronies led by Amadou Samba exploiting the national wealth. Mustapha Njie (TAF) should never have been exiled. Today, he is rebuilding Nigeria whilst Banjul has turned into a ghost town. It is also true that the Gambia’s economy is rigged in your favour. Mr President, as the CEO of ‘’Project Gambia’’, your engagement in private business competing against local traders was a calculated mistake; and an economic suicide as that. You and your closest cronies monopolised all things import-export gaining an unfair advantage in a tainted executive refusing to pay tax and customs duties. That move drove out the competitive-edge in pricing, leading to the collapse of the private sector. With a docile parliament at your disposal ready to anoint kingship any minute – the checks-and-balances rule-book was overlooked, and the principle of separation-of-powers crushed. Thus, the country’s once-shining democracy was corrupted, in fact, rampantly sic.
It has to be said – riding a fleet of every luxury car on the face of the planet does not make one might, nor right. Taking to the air in lavish aircraft jets will not make you happier either, or the shiny boats you harbour at Banjul ports and Kanilai respectively. Mr President, it is true that you have developed an expensive taste. Well most thieves do. The daylight robbery the Gambian people were subjected to massaging our backs with foolish talks of ‘’Singapore’’ along the way stuck. You and your government have failed the Gambian people, embezzling millions, perhaps billions. Civil servants salaries are unacceptable, a bag of rice unaffordable – yet your wife, Zeinab suma, frequent the skies above in a private jet every fortnight. For a credible reconciliation to occur, it is prudent you realise your mistakes, and that of your government. Admit to them, and seek forgiveness from the Gambian people. Our people are unique. The diaspora is a testament of that, welcome and admired worldwide. Admit your private-wrongs, and collaborate with the assets recovery commission (to be set up) in gathering stolen wealth hidden abroad. Call out all the cronies who helped and benefitted in such schemes over the years. We know some of them already. But who are your partners internationally harbouring the country’s fortunes? The Gambian people are a forgiving lot, and in time ….
A huge applause to the sensitized young citizenry on a war path against maladministration. And it is incumbent upon the incoming administration to prioritise investing in major projects, attracting foreign direct investments to help develop our infant industries creating jobs for school leavers all across the country. President Jammeh, once again, I call on you to open the doors of the state machinery, and help the incoming administration take a seat. Make life easier throughout this transition period because Gambians, and the world are watching ever closely. Expectations are high, but so is vigilance. Gambia one, and together we shall rise.
My next article shall engage the president-elect, Honourable Adama Barrow, on the major challenges his administration is bound to face – prescribing remedies to social-ills confronting Gambian society.