Editorial: Another Wacky Award For President Jammeh

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The volunteer President of the Gambia

The volunteer President of the Gambia

According to reports monitored on the Gambia’s main daily newspaper, the Daily Observer, on 5 February 2014, the Gambia’s President, Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya Jammeh, has been awarded with another accolade to his long list of honours, this time, the ‘Most Outstanding Volunteer of the Decade Award’ from The Gambia National Volunteers Network (VolNET).

President Jammeh, who had among his innumerable list of accolades, the Doctor, Professor, Sheikh, Nasirudeen and Dictator has now been named the “the Most Outstanding Volunteer of the Decade”. To add insults to wounds, the Gambia National Volunteers Network claimed that the Gambia’s President’s voluntary service was not only rendered to the Gambia and Gambians alone, but to the entire human race.

It was the case in the past that people will fabricate whatever there is, their minds can think of, to gratify President Jammeh in exchange for his favours. However, the trend seems to have now transcended into institutional bodies within the country. Even in Pakistan, where it is believed the ancient adage, may have originated; limited the adage to “the leader is as bad as the people, or the people are as bad as the leader”. The Gambia seems to be vying to modify the ancient code into “the leader is as bad as the people and institutions or institutions are as bad as the leader and the people, or the people are as bad as the leader and the institutions”.

Despite struggling to fetch for reasons for meriting President Jammeh with the said award; the VoINET coordinator, Mr. Ebrima Mbowe, explained that they had unanimously agreed to confer the ‘Volunteer of the Decade Award’ on President Jammeh.  However, he and his colleagues failed, in the entirety of the Observer report, to state any of the meritorious voluntary deeds of the Gambian President.

Instead, the only explanation provided by the network was that: “The Gambian leader was chosen for the accolade due to his invaluable voluntary contributions to the development of The Gambia and the entire human race. It also highlighted Jammeh’s inspiring efforts that motivated Gambians to value the importance of volunteerism and its potential to bring about development.”

The only person, who seems to have excelled in an attempt to provide a reason for Jammeh’s deserving of such award was the Secretary of State for Trade, Integration and Employment, Mr. Abdou Kolley. Mr. Kolley, if, ever, our opinion is sought for a recommendation of an additional portfolio for him, we would suggest it to be the Secretary of State for Lies and Misinformation. The Honourable Secretary disgraced himself by going on record for sanctifying and gratifying that 90% of President Jammeh’s activities are voluntary.

Unless we have been deprived of our sights, we are yet to see the 10% voluntary works of President Jammeh. Though, Kibaaro News had not been in existence for the whole of the last 10 years, but in the last two years of our existence, we have not reported any benevolent voluntary works of the President, which he had not been remunerated for or remunerated himself for.

It had to be clarified that President Jammeh has embezzled more funds of our nation’s wealth than any Gambian in the last decade. As a result, it is fair and reasonable to state that whatever Jammeh did, in the last decade, could not be accurately described as voluntary, but at worst paid service. Since he can never serve our nation enough to recompense the benefits he had forcefully gained from it.

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