A people’s leader. Actually isn’t the most educated, revered, charismatic or even powerful. He is often strikingly ordinary, compassionate and a complete embodiment of his societal customs, beliefs and values. In sum, his voice naturally resonates his people but still remains charmingly imperfect. Above all, he listens, learns and acts as dictated by popular demand. This perhaps explains what some social scientists meant by ” Leadership is an ongoing evolution in thought and progress not only a mere title or role. To be a great leader, you have to constantly adjust your ears and stay attuned to your people listening to carefully what they have to say”. Abdoulie Lowe buttressed, “A leader must have a vision, keep hope alive, inspire greatness, and create avenues that will bring the very best out of people”. Despite anything your sceptics hold against you, they cannot deny you are anything but a people’s leader who does not fall for anything but always “calculating his steps”.

I want to discus two points on the cabinet compact on delivering good governance, accountability and exemplary leadership to the people of the Gambia: inclusivity and detribalization. Inclusivity is best punctuated as a process of chancing every citizen to equally and fully participate in driving expected national development spurts. In sum, it discourages the snubbing of sceptics and opposition leaders and their supporters. We have seen some attempts to package some as anti-establishment. As such their persons and integrity were littered with disgraceful decors. Maybe many of us believe life is a bed of roses beneath with a river of milk and honey flows. Perhaps it explains why most lose their bearing when an unexpected huddles surfaces its ugly head. But soonest the dusk finds a resting corner, we say ah it was just a misunderstanding. What makes the misunderstanding even deadlier is the profanities and character denting which decorate our discourse dazzlingly. Without the ugly dazzling adds on, our discourse is educative, engaging and entertaining. Therefore, we must help the emotional ones to start using their heads first. We must build a civil and vibrant society which is tolerant and supportive as enshrined in our national anthem. Despite our different political alignments, we are a nation that is interwoven and related by either marriage or friendship. Thus, any owlish effort to segregate us on political dispensation will only backfire. “Politicians”, Foday Jawla observed, “only have permanent interest but not friends”. Despite his controversial takes on some issues of national importance, he is spot on here. Consequently, we must abdicate being one another’s keeper.

On detribalization, I charged, what is noble about tribe? I am proud to be tribe this, I will defend tribe that. To hell with tribal foolishness. If any tribe is that significant how come it doesn’t have its own country, passport, currency, tribal flag and anthem? Our personal being and life isn’t measured by the tribe one is born into but how significant your being and life have contributed to the development of society and human mind. What life you live and the legacy you leave behind matters more than whatever tribe you represented. Never has anyone been eulogised and celebrated for belonging to a tribe but what you have added or subtracted from society. A tribes worthiness and nobility is immaterial if all it gives back to society is hate, backwardness and waste of space. Any human being who isn’t a beast of burden that lives each day as it comes and on others does not hide behind tribe to punctuate his or her worthiness. He transcend beyond these insignificant and pernicious yardstick of success, development, consciousness and greatness. Can anyone name me a tribe whose members did not betray one another with backstabbing, theft, murder and screwing one another’s wife and husband?

Notwithstanding, our tribes have great worthiness in inculcating moral values and instilling sense of responsibility on its members such as initiation rites, respect for elders, jealously protecting family and marital institutions etc. When politicians began to use tribe for political gains, it became a dangerous tool of segregation. Our national anthem is explicit in its take on detribalization when it accentuates, “…all may live in unity, freedom and peace each day” and “…join our diverse people to prove man’s brotherhood”. It never cajole to “prove man’s tribalhood”. So luko fii jarr di daw baye danu?

Sulayman Jeng
Birmingham, UK