A voice from the Diaspora – Even before the dust began to settle over the outcome of the recent presidential election in the Gambia, I wish to highlight certain issues and priorities of extreme concern regarding the President-elect and his team.
A word of caution – please, ENOUGH with the “delegations” and “emissaries” from all over the country visiting you and your team soon to take office. Mr President-elect, Gambians are further enlightened, analysing domestic politics in a global context, as the world continues to watch ever closely. Any village, town, or community wishing to meet you show solidarity “should wait until the inauguration” and hear you address the nation. My concern is of a double-pronged nature. First, these are the same “islamists”, alkalo’s, villages, and so on professing support, praying for Yahya Jammeh barely a month ago. Secondly, the security implications are magnified, raising questions and angst about your safety, and that of your team.
Mr President-elect – get used to the fact that from now up till eternity, or as long as you are the president of the Gambia, everyone will try to get close to you, to picture with you, and to give you daughters in marriage. But then again, watch out, every “Joe” who smiles at you isn’t a friend praying for your success, rather it is that “elevated” position you occupy they are seeking to profit from! This is big-time politics sir, the limelight is quite captivating – and “Rabbits” are caught in a head-light sic.
Mr President-elect – Modern statesmen are coming to terms with the fact that their words, and actions, are fed through live instantaneously on social-media platforms going viral in minutes. It is in this vein that watching you “dissing out” cash to “Jaliba” at a recent party whilst the nation who voted for you “burns” being held “hostage” by the Tyrant doesn’t sit well. In fact, that angers me. It was a very bad exercise in “Public Relations” “PR”, and who ever put you to it should be fired. That video has gathered a diaspora debate online, necessitating this write-up. The aim here is not a criticism per se, albeit, a bad taste in leadership given a country grappling with rotten, corrupt leadership. Like FGM, or witchcraft, there was nothing traditional about that, rather, habits of African politicians we can do without.
Analysing National Security – the country is anchored by the most unprofessional armed forces in Africa. From CDS, to the so-called “Generals” and “Majors” running about town drugged up like armed bandits. The “Tribal hegemony” has festered, and institutionalised. Still, these bunch of thugs are internationally condemned, as exemplified by the UN rejection of CDS’s visit to South Sudan – What a disgrace and a scar on our nations conscience.
Moving forward – A love for country should always trump personal aggrandizement. That in mind, the article was structured as a constructive criticism of events unfolding in Banjul, and those handling the affairs of President-elect. Approaching inauguration, the Gambian people remain hopeful for the values and ideas they have voted for in that defining December 1stelections. And as long as President-elect Barrow remembers those sacrifices, and his promises to the electorate; and refuse to be babysit by “Yes Men” and “vested interest’ coming at him from all corners – The Gambia shall be in good hands, marching towards CHANGE, in the shortest time possible.
Written By Gibril Saine, London.