Back in 1994 I was one of the vast majority of Gambians applauding your arrival with high hopes. In due course all hailed your wonderful achievements for the country. I even went to the extent of writing the first book trumpeting your development projects, with telling pictures and sweet narrative spelling your good intent for the beloved motherland. No one doubts your great strides in health service, education, communication, female welfare, etc., for which we are indeed very thankful, especially those of us who by age know the difference. On the other hand however, being the imperfect man that everyone is, you have given us enough reason to opt for the constitutional change that we have finally got. Yes, it is the end of your presidency; but not necessarily the end of your political career. As seen, election defeat simply puts you in the strong position of biggest opposition, chance to fight back after a good rest of only five years, less than a quarter of your time at the helm.
To humbly help your opposition drive, let me spell out some of my reasons for voting against you.
Against my wish, you:
- Took isolationism, regarding the Commonwealth, EU, etc
- Antagonised neighbouring Senegal with unnecessary border closures
- Declared Islamic Republic, even with full knowledge that we Muslims prefer secularism alongside our beloved Christian compatriots.
- Shortened the working week with longer days, both inconvenient and uneconomic
- Made your public addresses carry a divisive tribal dimension
- Stuck to wasteful mega celebrations
- Clung to the habit of offering unnecessary public holidays
And let me express my disappointment at your new Information Minister’s take against President Barrow’s forthcoming inauguration, calling it illegal in the face of your lasting petition. In the past your inaugurations went ahead in spite of opposition petition dragging in court. And not long ago you were a loud voice urging Gaddafi out, for the peace of Libya. Now, Gambia wants peace with your timely exit. Your ardent supporters are crying for peace, all wishing to see fast legs down gracious Mahama Avenue.
Thank you, as I look ahead to your vibrant opposition program.
Sincere thanks to Uncle Buhari, Aunty Ellen, Brother Sall, and the rest of the Peace Crew.
Musa E Jallow
London Corner, Serekunda, Gambia