Dear Pa M’bai,
I’d firstly like to congratulate you on your services and contribution to Gambia News and on the fervent expedition of incite to the recent, political impasse and the reformation of our new government and democracy.
I am a British citizen (born and bred) and married to a Gambian. My ties to Gambia far exceed that of my matrimony, but to the extent of tracing my ancestral connection back to the beautiful Gambia. As to be expected being raised in the west, my learned culture somewhat defers that which is inherit. (I am yet to rediscover what it means to be Gambian by culture) However, presently I understand enough to express my heart, and frill in the redevelopment of The Gambia.
I would like to address your recent article, that which discloses the expense of the state’s residence at the Kairaba Beach Hotel. To suggest that Barrow presidency is becoming ‘high maintenance’ is an unrealistic measure permitted that the events of transition has been exhaustive. I want to remind you that under the circumstances, being that the state house was/is high risk to occupy. Gambia should grant grace with such means. The meals of the security staff was clarified. But yet you persist in your indirect suggestions of manifesting corruption and (or) extortion. Might I point out to you it is not, (so far) of the same exploitation of Jammeh regime.
I reference your article in which you state ‘President Barrow should relocate to the State House in Banjul, as soon as work is completed. Otherwise, a greater chunk of our meager budget would be spent on exorbitant bills.’
With this you understand that this current expense is but temporary.
It is imperative to identify what is the greater picture. Is it it actual reform and respecting the process and the many inconvenience that has and will occur due to the inordinate transition of power? Or is it the petty nit picking of suspicion that represents the psychological damage of oppression (I stopped reading reports of Fatu Network for this very reason).
As you have a duty to report the current social and political climate of our beloved land. (By which I applaud you.) However, I have a growing discomfort about how reports and (or) propaganda are appropriated. I would implore that Gambia needs borderline credible information with absolute truth with a non-bias approach with a less speculative rationale. Please remember that the media is not only the voice of the people but also plays a prominent role in influencing the thinking of its audience be it subliminal or direct.
Having called out the president so early in his administration, (I reckon) only reinforces skepticism. Which might I add does not contribute to the healing of our people but rather causes the reopening of the wounds.
It is also important to understand (whilst observing and reporting) the psychological damage that has come about from the autocratic presidency of Yayah Jammeh. Whilst being subjected to Jammeh’s corruption, and nepotism. The psyche of our fellow Gambians has been imprinted, with mistrust. Understandably!. However, what is being regurgitated is a passive fear, that consequently becomes a rhetoric of broken relationship between state and the citizens. GAMBIA does not need this. Collectively ‘we’ must heal from the psychological rape that has occurred.
How can this be done if the media keep ripping of the bandage by inciting further mistrust. Eventually Gambia will self-destruct having no trust with each other thus dissolving the smiling coast of collective consciousness to a ‘them and us’ division. Let me remind you that: A house divided cannot stand. No relationship is functional without trust.
With this, How do you expect effective community engagement?
Gambia needs healing, so therefore let us Collectively heal together- state and citizen. Gambia has had 22 years of injustice and already we are prepared to assassinate the character of our freedom fighters-The coalition. Let us not forget that they too are victims of the once regime and along with the media found a voice to defend Gambia from their perpetuation. At the least give them a fighting chance to find their feet whilst they (The coalition) work towards a reform
It is your duty Pa (in your further contribution) to support Gambia reform by discerned publications that avoid further conflict both individually and collectively and in its stead provide substantial and effective news that brings resolve. In as much, Gambia will have a fighting chance. TOGETHER!!…
I trust you have great ambition for the Gambia and I ask you to be mindful of the psychology that befalls this interim period and gracefully advance with discretion, whilst Gambia stabilizes and heals.
We can do this!!