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Friday, December 1, 2023

Charged with sedition?

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With Aisha Jallow

Our well-known activist Madi Jobarteh has been charged with three counts: seditious intention, incitement to violence, false broadcasting and information. Interesting!

President Barrow fears his opponents so much, so they must be brought to court and punished. Yes, punished! What is the next step in this drama; stripped naked, tied to a pole and whipped, just like they did to the slaves in the US? Hasn’t Barrow even for a second considered that his own position is a result of sedition? People risked their lives for the freedom that President Barrow now is trying to remove. People died for the freedom Barrow feels is wrong and is trying to restrict. People joined to vote so Jammeh finally lost and Barrow won, but for what? Where is the gratitude from the president? Where?

Piece by piece people lose hope, you rule by fear just like Yahya Jammeh did. Is this the first step on the path to disaster for the Gambian people? Will there never be an end of this craziness? Is your self-esteem so low that you are completely unable to accept that there are people who don’t like your lack of achievements? You react like a child who has never learned to share his toys and who can’t handle criticism. Did you hit your mates with a stick every time they tried to borrow your toys? Did you run to your mama everytime any mate said something bad to you? Did your mama then run to the other boys’ parents to defend you and to complain about the other boys who were naughty? Grow up, Mr President! Put your big boy pants on and act like a man instead of a grumpy boy.

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It is obvious that you are taking yourself seriously, but if you wish for us others to do the same then you need to change your approach. Don’t you understand that you are digging yourself a hole that is so deep so it will be impossible to climb up from it one day? You will not be able to keep your position for ever, even if you wish so. Yahya Jammeh proclaimed that hewould remain president of The Gambia for a billion years. No human being becomes a billion years of age, and in The Gambia people are lucky if they even reach adulthood.

You haven’t done anything to improve the living conditions of the Gambian people.

Still there is a lack of equipment at the hospitals, still women die at childbirth, still very sick patients are forced to be waiting outside the hospitals as there is no one who can offer them a hygienic place to wait for the doctor. A human life seems to be worth nothing in The Gambia, calling the country the Smiling Coast is embarrassing because I can hear the cry of the people all the here to Sweden. How come I care more about the Gambian people than you do, Mr President? Perhaps because I have suffered myself and because I have empathy. The more I learn about The Gambia, the more I wonder if there will ever become a change for the better in the country.

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I pray every day for that change to come, together with so many others, but even if God is listening there are too many who don’t . The problem is that we even have a lot of people who claim themselves to be the interpreters of the words of God, but they are instead the voices of their masters.

A general education is necessary for all people and especially if one wants to become some kind of leader. It is a well-known fact that you, Mr President, have no kind of education to brag about. That is a sore toe to be stepping on, isn’t it? Every time anyone mentions your lack of education you become that angry child who beats your mates with a stick when they say something to you that you disapprove of.

Try to change your mindset and instead of becoming insulted, you should try to educate yourself. It is never too late! You can read and write, can’t you? There are billions of books you can read, there is information online you can search for. You can afford to pay a tutor in every subject where you need to learn more. The world is open to you, you have all the opportunities to educate yourself and if you don’t take these opportunities, then I really don’t know what to say!

Madi Jobarteh is a highly qualified man who could be of your assitance if you wouldn’t be so afraid of him. Of course you would never agree that you fear him, but your actions show that clearly.

I have known Madi for many years, and even if he has the ability to piss me off more than anyone, I still respect him because he is very intelligent and he is fair. That is more than I can say about many of your followers, Mr President. You should change your approach and instead of trying to silence Madi, invite him to the State House and talk to him. You could prepare a sheet of questions and I can promise you that Madi will have an answer to them all – even unprepared!

Madi is a peaceful man who has never lifted his hand towards any of his many children. He is stubborn and wants to win every discussion, but he is willing to listen to you and consider your opinions.

Whenever Madi, or I for that matter, have told people to react and claim their rights it has never been a matter of incitement of violence – this is an interpretation from your part. Of course there have been hot-heads who have taken the opportunity to act violently, but these kinds of people take every chance they can get to cause commotion. Just look at the clashes there have been between representatives of different political parties. Look at how representatives of your own party, the NPP, are acting. You can’t blame Madi Jobarteh for all the problems in The Gambia, but you use him as a smokescreen to hide your own incapacity as a president. The more people talk about Madi Jobarteh, the less they speak about you.

The thing is, Mr President, that there are more people who respect Madi Jobarteh, not only in The Gambia but also internationally, than there are people who truly respect you. There is a huge difference between the kind of respect you two are getting. People show you respect because they believe they can gain something from it – money, position, property etc. People show Madi respect because they value his sharp brain and his courage. We don’t gain anything else but respect back from Madi, he has nothing more to give, but what we get is more than enough. Mr President; if you want our respect – act like a man, don’t punish the one who disapproves with you. Find out the reasons instead and try to find a consensus.

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