HALIFA SALLAH WRITES TO PRESIDENT JAMMEH Leaders should not act just as they please

TO: THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC

SUBJECT:   THE DEMANDS OF OUR TIMES AND CIRCUMSTANCES Halifa Sallah

Over a month has elapsed since the incidents of 14th and 16th April 2016 became a part of Gambian history. History is still recording the developments as they unfold. This is precisely why this memorandum is being conveyed to you.

Leaders should not act just as they please. Leaders who close their eyes to what is reasonable and justifiable at each given moment must grope in the dark and ultimately plunge their countries into the abyss of civil strife.

Leaders who are to be able to take charge and prevent their countries from sinking must be effective and efficient in giving right and timely answers to the demands of our times and circumstances.

Mr. President, I have followed your tour with keen interest. I am still wondering whether the objective could be more than a fact finding measure as to whether the nation was at a boiling point as reported in the media abroad.

In short, I have not seen you visit military camps to show your potential enemies the level of your military preparedness. Instead, you kept on auditing faces, turnouts and behaviour of the people which may lend credibility to the assumption that your trip may be a fact finding and confidence building endeavour aimed at satisfying yourself as to whether you could continue to govern in the old way. You are your own judge.

What I wish to convey to you is that governability could be ensured by coercion or by consent. Governability based on coercion is not sustainable.   It is the governability of the truncheons, cudgels, tear gas canisters, hose pipes, rubber bullets, live bullets and mass graves. Such a system of governability must stain the pages of history with blood. A sovereign people do not deserve such a history.

Hence, the picture I want you to bear in mind is that the central figure in the whole political equation is Ebrima Solo Sandeng. He is yet to appear in court.

Will justice be ever seen to be done by any reasonable person if one proceeds with the trial of Mr Ousainou Darboe and his party leadership and members while Sandeng’s whereabouts remain unknown?

It is in the best interest of the country to bear in mind that when conscience dictates peaceful political manoeuvres criminal intentions should never be alleged.

I am of the conviction that justice is best seen to be done if the accused are discharged and released.

Yours in the service of the people

Halifa Sallah

PDOIS Secretary General