Dear Dr. Henry D.R. Carrol,

Even though I hate to write this piece of advice for you, circumstances dictate that I have to because it’s necessary. Firstly, I don’t know if you would remember me, but I was also your student. You may not remember me because I don’t seek attention or court cheap popularity.

My piece is with regard to the manner you responded to Magistrate Omar Jabang’s, Esq. article on The Change of Name of N.I.A. I will not dwell on the substantive issue because if I have to, I will go to the courts to challenge it instead of the media. That will be the right venue.

As for the manner in which you responded, I must say that I was very much disappointed. Although I was not surprised, I was disheartened to see you go that low on your former student. The response was rude, and incoherent with intent to tarnish Mr. Omar Jabang’s reputation. You will agree with me that Omar is a very smart/intelligent young man who is very promising. We all need to support him rather that discourage/frustrate his efforts. Others could have attacked him but not his former lecturer.

That being said, I will not be surprised if you should resort to the same mechanism to attack me also but I promise you, this is and will be my first and last piece of advice.

I went to law school in both The Gambia and America and I believe I have seen the vast difference in the two systems. In America, the professors want their students to succeed. They challenge one, develop one, and give one all the opportunities for him/her to excel. However, for The Gambia, only a few professors act that way. One is Mr. Gaye Sowe who I have so much respect for because he is a man with principles.

The Gambia needs to take care of its young intellectuals, otherwise, as usual, there will always be brain drain. We should avoid unnecessary infighting, envy, jealousy and plotting for each other’s fall. I am made to believe that you and Mama Fatima Singhateh have the same tendency of trying to suppress the progress of your students and plotting for them to fail in life. Such attitude should not be that of a law professor. A professor should provide all the support for his/her students to succeed.

Mama Fatima Singhateh, for reasons best known to her, has some envy towards me. I believe her desire is to see me fail in life. She nearly failed me at The Gambia Law School as a plot to ridicule, embarrass, and belittle me because she didn’t like the fact that I graduated from the Faculty of Law, University of The Gambia as the Best Graduating Law Student of the 2012/2013 Graduating Class. She didn’t stop at that. She made sure that I got dismissed from the Judiciary of The Gambia by reporting me to, and telling lies to Yahya Jammeh for me to be dismissed.  Eventually, I was dismissed. All was done to bring my career to an end.

I managed to get on my feet, left The Gambia for Good and came to America to pursue further studies. With virtually no more, I was able to go to school, complete the degree requirement and graduate. Her hatred and envy did not stop me. I continue to crave for more success and God willing I will.

As I said, the difference between America and The Gambia is that in America, the professors want one to succeed but in The Gambia, many of them want one to fail. If America was The Gambia, I would have dropped out because I had no money to pay for the fees. With the support of my professors who I shall forever remain grateful, I was able to complete my degree requirement.

I joined classes with some smartest students in America here and I must say that I envy them because of the opportunities and the resources at their disposal. They must succeed. For The Gambia to prosper, we must put envy, jealousy, and unnecessary infighting and frustration aside. We must support one another to become the best we want for ourselves, otherwise, we will all be doomed!!

In case you miss my point, it’s that: you could have addressed his errors, if any, in a more professional and polite manner, than expose him to ridicule and embarrassment. That was uncalled for.  That article didn’t help at all. In fact, I don’t know what was the purpose of your response. Was it to rectify him or ridicule him?

I hope you will heed my advice!! Please stop attacking your former student. I would expect someone to but not you Dr. Henry D.R. Carrol.


Written By:

Mr. Samsideen Conteh, Esq., LL.M. (Energy and Natural Resources), University of Oklahoma College of Law.     

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