As I write you this letter knowing there is nothing gratifying than being solemn to one’s personal truth and conviction, I cannot help but wonder if you ever alert yourself to how history will depict you after your fall from grace. Similarly, how will you be at peace with your conscience few years down memory lane when you look back at things you could have done or said differently? Perhaps, your mind is already made up that you have committed so many unforgettable atrocities and political gaffes that you are better off dead than handover power. True, but it better to be late than never.

Mr President, common sense teaches that a good leader avails and alerts himself or herself to his or her people’s needs and aspirations. S/he does not, for instance, go to bed with a full stomach knowing most of his or her people are sleeping empty bellies. Furthermore, s/he does not sleep knowing his or her people have to constantly look over their shoulders for fear of being unlawfully arrested, detained or forced to disappear by state security apparatus. Conversely, a true and people’s leader is humble and compassionate. This brings to mind an epic of our very own Senegambia legend, Njajang Njie.

Njajang Njie, the renowned Wolof illustrious orator, was celebrated for his mesmerizing, rich and edifying truisms. Even his sworn enemies attested to his enviable oratory. Hence, when the wedding of his only daughter was announced, the news spread like bush fires far and beyond the Wolof Empire. On the wedding day, Mr President, his compound overflew with expectant crowd. When the all the respectable community elders took their seats and the bride sat on a mat in the middle of the anxious crowd, Njajang Njie emerged from his room dejectedly. A deafening silence dawned on the keen crowd as he took his seat among the elders. After what seemed a never ending wait, he suddenly sprang up and cleared his throat like someone stung by a scorpion. He called his daughter thrice and said, “Mbahana” (hat) and walked off to his room. A bustling murmur erupted like a volcano. Confusion engulfed the dumbfounded crowd. Everyone was expecting Njajang Njie to showcase his finest oratory prowess but they were left disappointed. Others deemed it insulting or him to just call his daughter and say hat. Some began to postulate he has lost it. When he re-emerged, the crowd when quiet again as few began to search signs of insanity on the old man. “I know most of you were expecting me to given a lengthy”, he began, “but I have never given a more appropriate speech than today. If my daughter understood what I told her and acted upon it, she will live happily with both her husband and in-laws. The hat is simple, easy and light. That is why the head carries it without feeling its weight. What more can I say to daughter?” He asked. Two pertinent lessons can be drawn from the above Mr President: humility and wisdom.

Mr President, humility and wisdom are two essential vitamins that are deficient in your qualities. Perhaps, you are fuming and thinking how I can substantiate my assertion. Well, let me began by drawing your attention to your recent address to your cabinet ministers which I heard over Freedom Radio. You began stating “Allah has never left a people under repression without liberating them from the repression.” You went on to add, “Corruption is the most heinous crime”, and your ministers must desist from it. I cannot agree more with you Mr President. However, I find it quite absurd you finger-pointing your ministers while you represent corruption in the truest sense of its meaning. We all know you walked into State House as a church mouse. In fact, it is an open secret that you have to wear some of the clothes left behind by Jawara in order to dress decently and presentably.

Wisdom is the ability to distinguish between wrong and right. Most importantly, wisdom makes you conscious of the minute details of what goes around you. It guard you from not only publicly showcasing your foolishness but also keeping your integrity in tack. Who is repressing Gambians, Mr President? Who is stealing from Gambians, Mr President? To add insult to injury, you behave and talk like you are too clever and powerful for Gambians. However, you failed to accept great and inquisitive minds search for answers to questions of the very essence of life, the philosophies of others and the secrets of destiny. While others trek on the route of blasphemy by pondering on the existence of God, some dive into the heads of others to unveil suppressed feelings buried deep inside code locked vaults. It is in the pursuit of such knowledge and wisdom that some explore great distances which eventually connect them to things dear to the heart. The concept of freedom I espouse contrasts the one in which a person or group of people rejoice from being shielded from a despot’s tyranny while not realising the very essence of being free and complete. In other words, I do not bow in reverence to freedom which wallows on the ideal of just doing what pleases the self. For instance, you have the state apparatus at your service hence you are free to suppress and exploit Gambians, commits atrocities, and plunders the national coffers. However, a closer look at his person will reveal that his own depth of conscience is frozen.  Wisdom teaches that since your conscience is buried alive, you became an empty pompous shell. Thus, one can assert that you have not only chosen to trek on an unjust path but also denies your truest being. In sum, any person who gratifies himself from dehumanizing others is not only devoid of the basic ingredients which differentiate us from the lower animals, but becomes the most ruthless monster.

Recurring calls for you to stand down as a presidential candidate in the December 2016 pools have fallen on deaf ears. To further galvanize to victory, you prostituted the IEC and collaborated with your unwitting MPS to doctor laws that stifle the opposition from registering any political gain in the December elections. Notwithstanding, the course of destiny can only be delayed for a while but never altered or halted forever. Almost 9 out of every 10 Gambians when asked readily affirm that they can’t wait to usher your sorry ass to the exit point. When will you recognise the signs on the walls and let go of the presidential office? There is still ample time for you to step down and allow your party to nominate a new candidate and prepare for a smooth transition of power. Or are you awaiting that fateful day when you will be chased out of office running half-naked dreading what your captors will met on you?

Yours in the service of The Gambia,

Sulayman Jeng

Birmingham, UK

Join The Conversation