Dear Mr. President! When you conceded to Adama Barrow last week, the entire world celebrated your gesture as appropriate and honorable. A week later, you rescind your words in the same office and through the same medium you announced your concession. We judge presidents by their actions and the specific expectations they ask to be measured against such as empathy, integrity, wisdom, and honesty. Dictators as we know them, are seldom men of integrity and through your actions you clearly showed Gambians and the rest of the world a shortage of candor and integrity.
You choose two roles in every leadership: you are either sunshine to the plant or you become saltwater to the roots, and for the last 22 years you were the saltwater. The only thing right about your leadership was your pride and ego. You and your family represent all that has gone wrong in our nation, and Gambians have decided you are no longer anything worthy of praise.
Whilst Gambians fell into deep poverty, you were busy with power and hanging your portraits in all government offices. Whilst mothers and children died on their hospital beds, you were consumed with trivial things, putting your name and image on billboards and lamp poles along the streets. Whilst countless Gambian youths have perished on the back way, your family was jetting freely around the world at the expense of the Gambian taxpayers.
Mr. President, by your defiance and mercurial attitude you disengaged our country from the international community and brought us nothing but shame and ridicule. It is apparent now to even the young children on the streets that you do not have a sophisticated understanding of diplomacy neither do you have the capacity or wisdom to differentiate facts from fiction.
Mr. President, this campaign period should be a clear manifestation to you and your surrogates that Gambians have long awoken from their slumber. For so long we’ve lived in fear. Today Gambians have learned from the rest of the free world that we are perception creators, and if we have a problem with the way our leaders see us or treat us, we have the power to change it. Unlike many who have gone down the road of violence, Gambians chose the only route they know best – the democratic process and the peaceful ballot.
Hope you are reminded of your slogan from that fate Friday of July the 22nd, 1994 – “Power to the People!” Gambians have spoken, and I hope you do the right thing and respect the will and power of the masses. There is no second coming here. A wise man knows his limitations and does not pick a fight which he has a slim chance of winning. This is not a battle you will win sir.
To members of the security and armed forces, please remain neutral. Honor your oath and code of conduct to protect the interest of The Gambian nation first. Jammeh’s regime is over, and the only tactic left in his arsenal is to create carnage and destruction in our country. As soldiers, be reminded in the rules of engagement there is a clear line between obedience to authority and illegal behavior. If suicide is Jammeh’s choice and means of checking out of this situation, then please let him go alone. Don’t die for him. Be reminded of the African wisdom that “only a stupid fly follows the dead body in the grave.”
Long Live The Gambia! Long Live Peace!
By Sheriff Kora