Well, some of you might take it with a teensy weensy pinch of salt, but, President Barrow is subtle yet bold and committed to drive development targets. We may not realise it but earnestly, with him we are blessed. Here, others would be thinking aloud “What?” And probably spicing “if it is this way he conducts his leadership, let the hand of fortune unbless me”. Your frustration is legit. Especially with the false prophets preaching to him no matter the heat he will survive. But anyone who isn’t a glue-huffing maroon knows the heat that disgracefully whisked Goloh to Equatorial Guinea will not leave Mr Penguin in Iceland for long if he continues to mirror Goloh Friday. Honestly, deep down I knew what glitters now is not what we fought so hard to polish. Cause the appointment of APRC former Speaker as our diplomat in South Africa just says it all. The appointment deepened the already feverish speculation that all what matters to you, Mr President, is interest of the unequal few. And that one. Definitely is a bad political and leadership blood.

Enviably, despite all the dirt heap on you, you unlike some of us, do not wall yourself off from scrutiny and dissent. Instead, you encourage it. Some of us get very personal when someone genuinely objects our view. Others draw out daggers of profanities to banish their critics to perpetual silence. Double standards we call it in the UK. Barrow is one of us. Imperfect. Conversely, unlike some of us, he is not ashamed of his diminish prospects. Some doofy sceptics are insinuating that the government has hacked its emblical cord with the people as a result has turned deaf, dumb and blind. Ah…ah…that is a flimsy excuse of a quiter. An illustrious instance which invalidates that claim is the Gunjur beach saga. The government did not only listened but responded by sending a minister to hear from the youths and also issued a directive for the immediate stop on illegal fishing. The fundamental question is how did the people of Gunjur do it? Please don’t tell me because they are member of the UDP. That one definitely is the mind of a hater. The truth is they are united, organised, determined and persistent. Their campaign has proven that together our voices are powerful and when we add enough of them it makes a difference. True or false?

Following the sudden demise of Goloh’s reign, many of us parted ways. Some remained in closed partisan ranks while others headed for varied pursuance. Few concluded the fight ended with the departure of Goloh Friday who flew out on a Saturday. In the process, a handful got embedded in chasing their personal dreams. The national dream pursuant was rested on the shoulders of few who believe the fight isn’t over until democratic instruments, institutions and practices are restored with a two-term presidential limit. Unfortunately, they are fast becoming lonelier by the day. And lamentably, they are the new “untouchable” caste of new Gambia. Instead of harnessing our energies, unifying our voices and insisting that the leadership not to short change us, we hasten to bash one another to be seen of the conquerors. Ousainou Mbenga is crucified for speaking his mind. All of a sudden he is traitor. They alleged he induced Solo Sandeng to his untimely and brutal murder. I guessed they missed his daughter’s tribute to him. She explicitly spoke of his conviction, determination and courage to die for what he believed. Isnt that stealing the flory of the hero, my fellow compatriots? That not only disgusts but a condescending dishonesty. Yes, I said it. And if need be, I will say it louder all over again. You want to come after me? Be my guest.

When Goloh Friday was reported to have donated to government institutions we bashed him. Because we knew it from from our coffers he had a helping. Now, my Presy is reported to have walked the walk of Goloh Friday, we are told it is dandy. You know why my respect for Karamba Touray is on the increase? He does not endeavour to hide from himself. This is his take on the issue, “The phrase ” The president donated” to any state institution or done on behalf of the state even if it is a needle should have been gone for good with Yahya Jammeh. We don’t want to hear anymore donations of any sort. It is a vestige of being a banana republic under the thumb of a tyrant . I suspect this foul up happened somewhere down the bureaucracy but none the less word should be sent down the entire government that the elected president does not get to donate to institutions , they get allocated resources under normal procedures”. This is what President Barrow needs to make a difference. GRTS Director General, Ebrima Sillah is also a gentleman with solid character. This is what he responded to queries why his staff reported the two vehicles as gift from President Barrow, “But for avoidance of doubt, it is important that we set the records straight. It was Thursday night around 9pm Gambia time that I received a call from someone from the Office of the President that I should be at the headquarters of The Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) to receive donated vehicle to GRTS.

I then informed my line Minister for him too to grace the occasion. Now at the handing over event, all the previous speakers before me and Hon Minister of Information alluded to the fact that the vehicles were donated by the president. Some of the comments you’ve sent me are questioning why GRTS used the phrase “VEHICLES DONATED BY THE PRESIDENT.” But this was exactly what we were told. As journalists we don’t invent stories. We report on the stories. Also since a proper foundation was laid at the handing over event as to where the donated vehicles came from, it was only proper in line with acceptable protocols and conduct especially at public functions to follow the pattern to avoid miscommunication”. Can anyone fault him here?


Sulayman Jeng
Birmingham, UK