Mr. Editor, I had to muster my courage to put it to you outright as a very good friend that your medium is being turned into a forum that encourages nothing but gossip lately. I am wiring particularly regarding the unnecessary publication of the personal information of our Vice President which I am sure were unlawfully obtained and incidentally made headlines on freedom newspaper. My point is, what is the hullabaloo about Mrs. Tambajang’s age to the extent of publishing her Tax identification certificate from the Gambia? This document, I believe is personal to her. The only authority tasked with administering such a document is the Gambia Revenue Authority and there is no reason why they will willfully divulge such information to the source that provided your medium with it without authorization from Mrs. Tambajang.
We must understand that the Gambia has gone beyond irrelevant issues such as attacking someone’s age just because they have been appointed to public office. This government is just a transitional one that will only be with us for three years to fix the ills of the Jammeh administration. No one should insinuate that Mrs. Tambajang is going to be Vice President beyond the transition so there is no point trying to prove to the world that she had a 50-year-old son or even publishing her old UNDP staff I.D. I think such issues are offensive and very outrageous and let along being run on a reputable paper like yours. The Gambia has moved away from tyranny and abuse of power and we should all support the new government so that the transition becomes very successful for the Gambia. If we sit here in the U.S or maybe elsewhere and just attack poor Fatoumatta Tambajang, that does not change anything. We must stop attacking that woman to the extent of making a mockery of her age, the age of her son and so on and on. That is not ok.
On the issue of tribalism, I cannot also express my disappointment about the panel you constituted on freedom radio that took it upon themselves to lash out at the Barrow government on tribal lines. I am going to be honest to you Pa Ndery, I did not listen to that discussion. I came to know of it while I was watching the Super Bowl game on Sunday afternoon at friend’s house and the people there were not the least impressed by some of the things your panel members said especially one of them attacking the credentials of President Barrow. I think if anybody feels that they are more educated than our President, they should pack up and go contest for public office in the Gambia rather than sit here in the U.S and blow hot air.
Right now, you are being accused of tribalism because of that forum on freedom radio which the Mandinkas took too personal and I do not blame them for that. Not that I have Mandinka blood, but it is the fact. I also partly listened to your repeat broadcast this morning before heading to work and you said that you are the mouthpiece of the people and only saying what some people would ordinarily refuse to say. You also said that however bad Yahya Jammeh was, he was sensitive to issues relating to tribalism. Pa Ndery, I think you missed that point. Was it not Yahya Jammeh that ostracized the Mandinkas and promised to wipe them out from the Gambia? Was it not the same Yahya Jammeh that said a Mandinka will never rule the Gambia? Now tell me whether those sentiments were not expressed on tribal lines?
My friend, I think I spoke my mind because you and I have come a long way since the days of Jagnen and I know you have a job to do but I also have my opinion to express.
Written by: Ebou Ngum – Everett Washington