Dear Mr Mbai,

How are you doing? This is the first time am writing to you and am sure this is same as many others considering the recent situation in the Gambia.

I thought it extremely necessary to articulate some thoughts which many should be aware of and you are rightly placed to hold the right people to task for the good of our nation:

Here are the concerns and observations:

  1. As a Gambian like me you know better than me that Gambians can be very naive sometimes. We should all know that all nations act on their own self interest and we all know that as a people we and Senegal are one; but we have never been one politically. I mean even during the time of peace; ask any Gambian, they will tell you that at every border post whether at the Dakar airport or Karang or farafenni the Senegalese security services treat Gambians badly when they enter Senegal. I personally witnessed one occasion when the duanne told a Gambian traveller  “FEE DU BANJUL. SEN YEFF YOWU AMUL FI” and harassing the person. As a frequent traveller I had to intervene and castigate the duane and told him Gambia and Senegal are the same and that’s a very ugly thing to tell someone. And luckily other Senegalese travellers also joined in and on my side.
  2. We should  all know that Macky Sall and his government acted and accelerated the whole Ecowas and Security council action not because they love the Gambia and Barrow; but because of their own self interests. The new administration should be aware of this and be very vigilant. The new administration is very vulnerable because they feel a debt of gratitude to Senegal and Macky and the Senegalese are very smart and they know this and will use it to their fullest advantage. THE NEW ADMINISTRATION SHOULD BE VERY CAREFUL NOT TO COMMIT THE GAMBIA ON ANY LONG TERM BILATERAL DEAL THAT THEY WILL NOT BE ABLE TO WITHDRAW FROM LATER.
  3. Few Gambians know that there is a Petroleum exploration dispute between Senegal and the Gambia. This has been ongoing for years. There is a territorial place at sea were Senegal is claiming as their own and its been proven to be a fertile petroleum area. This is one of the issues between Senegal and Yaya Jammeh. I FEAR THE NEW INEXPERIENCED GOVERNMENT THAT IS FEELING GRATEFUL TO SENEGAL MIGHT GIVE CONCESSIONS THEY MIGHT REGRET LATER.
  4. Senegal has been for years trying to do a trans Gambia bridge with terms not favourable to Gambia and it will drain traffic from GPA ferries and other border tarrifs. Yaya Jammeh refused this for a  reason.
  5. I hope that as a journalist you use your means to raise these issue with the new administration before is too late. I have seen people such as Mai Fatty respond to your posts, which means they read your paper and you can make a great  difference.
  6. Let us be very careful how much of a blank cheque we give to Senegal. We should not compromise our sovereignty.
  8. We should be very careful to separate our oneness with Senegalese as a people and our different goals politically between governments

I wrote this very hastily. Please forgive any grammatical or spelling errors. Also please remove my email address should you wish to publish this.

Best Regards,

Written By A Concerned Gambian

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