Ex-Police Officer’s Letter to the President

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Dear Jammeh, 

ASP Jeng
ASP Sulayman Jeng: the Gambia is falling apart

Wisdom teaches that no matter the truth some people will always see only what they want to see.  It went further to buttress that there are others who would take a step back to look at the bigger picture only to realise that they have been looking at what was there all along. For some it will be the hair-splitting realisation that their lies have almost caught up with them.

It is also interesting to note that amongst people is a handful that opts to run as far away as they can just to avoid taking a look at themselves. This brings to mind what an old friend once admonished: “Honest communication is where good and genuine relationships are based.” As a result, I am writing to tell you what every Gambian wants you to know…the Gambia is falling apart. Some argue that it is not worth engaging you in meaningful and frank communication because you do not care. Their reason been you believed that it is only you who see sense. No one else is right but you. If there is anything I have learnt is there is always something beneath the surface that makes people like you act the way you do…showing the world a stern face and rigid adherence to your belief. Jammeh, leadership is not being iron-handed and abusing power but the willingness to step outside your world to remind yourself who you are or better still who you really want to be. Some would liken it to parenting.  And for the records, a good parent is he or she who sacrifices his or her personal ambition and future to build a solid and bright future for his or her children.  Will you go down in history as a good parent for the Gambia?

The Gambia is falling apart and you do not give twaddle. I feel like screaming my head off because there is no one in your government that would listen. Do Integrity, Responsibility and Consideration mean anything to you? Of late, Imam Abdoulie fatty has turned his cleric pulpit into a Disc Jockey cubicle. How sad it is to see him trade his reputation as a religious leader to hell. What is more disheartening is how he brushes aside Dayda Hydara’s murder as a trivial matter. I consoled myself after a second thought of listening to the conformist cleric that he is not at tune with world history, international relation and current affairs. Potentially, one can deduce from his assertion that he knows who Dayda’s murders are. Such a person, Jammeh, who compromises his dignity to flirt with your comfort will certainly not advice you sincerely. Instead he is alienating you more and more from the realities on the ground. He makes you see those who will tell you the truth no matter what as your enemies. Jammeh it is about time that you take a look at yourself and those around you.  Are you the person you really want to become? Do you love the person you have become?

People are been abuse in your torture chambers, others are wasting in detention without trial, many are struggling to keep their heads above water and the rest are so filled with frustration that they forget what it is like to live a decent life and to be free. Amidst all this rocky and unpleasant euphoria, you match on uncaringly. Perhaps you have already made up your mind that you will not be going down without putting up a fight. Yes, we can fix this before it gets late. You see Gambians are tired of this endless cat fight. Whenever you are in financial crisis and cannot get more from the West you run to the Arabs. Jammeh the Arabs are not the answers to your problems. For them when you speak they do not hear and to make matters worse you do not understand them.  Sometimes I don’t know what to say to you. It is even much harder as you don’t care. It may be because the Gambia is superficial to you…but I can assure you Jammeh that you will never find a pure escape. Moreover, when the pieces of the destruction you create in the Gambia are being picked, you will be wallowing in the zone of regret and misery.

Jammeh if you love the Gambia then do the right thing…accept the EU demand and start implementing them immediately. That will be a step in the right direction. This should be followed by constitutional reform and limiting the Presidency to a two-term limit of either four or five year’s term. In that way democracy and the rule of law will gradually be restored in the Gambia. It is difficult to forget but easy to forgive. So if you free all those who are unlawfully detained and establish commissions of inquiries into the deaths and disappearances of some Gambians will go a long way to earn forgiveness from Gambians. Do not let your pride stop you from doing what is right and desirable.

While counting on you taking my advice on-board, I remain a true son of the Gambia.

Yours in the service of the Gambia,

Sulayman Jeng,  UK