Silence in this age will be a betrayal of trust on the conscience of concerned citizens. To hit the nail on the head, I am of the opinion that, the position of Vice President being reserved for an individual is tantamount to an insult to Gambians and their dignity. Out of close to 2 million people, only an individual is deemed suitable for the position of our country’s Vice President. We have been talking about this issue and we will not relent or be silent about it until the right thing is done.
Mr. President, Gambians appreciate the efforts of any individual who contributed in the democratic jihad launched on December 1 by constitutionally kicking out a dictatorship. But we more importantly salute ourselves for making that right, historic and courageous decision on that fateful day. I do not consider any individual to be more indispensable than any other Gambian who stood against tyranny by casting his or her token against Jammeh and for the coalition. It is very clear to us all that, you have reserved the position of Vice President for Madam Jallow Tambajang. It was for this very reason that she was appointed as Minister of Women’s Affairs yet overseeing the office of Vice President, in fact not acting in the position.
Mr. President, what would have been more honourable if Madam Jallow-Tambajang had graciously appreciated your appointment but returned it in good faith, just for her not to be the reason for the reservation of the position. You knew very well the consequences of your failure to appoint one when Abdoulie Bojang was the Speaker of the National Assembly. Had anything happened to you, then we would have been talking about a different scenario. But that gone and dusted, is this not a sign of greed that an individual has been the cause for The Gambia not having a Vice President for months now? Of course it is. It must be clear to all including you and Madam Jallow-Tambajang that the development of this country cannot under any given circumstance be suspended. We, the citizens of this country will continue to make sense out of this government and ensure that the Gambia is set on the right footing.
Mr. President, blood, sweat and tears were shed for us to get to this point. Many have lost their lives in the struggle to rescue the nation. Families have been left in the valley of despair because they have lost their loved ones, some jailed while others tortured without hope in life anymore. These are people we can never forget and will continue to remember them for the selfless service to our nation.
Again, the age limit amendment attempt was done to satisfy the politicians in your government, the heads of various political parties but more specifically, Madam Jallow Tambajang. What benefits would it yield for you to keep the position for her alone? What is so special about her? She is qualified yes; she is competent yes; and above all, she worked very hard in ousting a dictatorship yes. But the central questions remain: Is she more qualified than all other Gambians? Is she more competent than all other Gambians? Has she worked harder than the ordinary Gambian in Tankular, in Nyakoi, in Yoro Bawol, in Tallinding, in Half Die Banjul, who woke up as early as 5 am to vote against tyranny on December 1? Without our votes, her efforts and your combined efforts in general as stakeholders in the coalition would end in total fiasco. Since our efforts were complementary to the successful transfer of power, therefore no individual should be considered more indispensable than the other.
The Gambia truly deserves better Mr. President. Glorifying an individual should be an exception rather than the rule in the so-called New Gambia. We must learn to be proactive in our development and avoid being creators of dictators. It is time that The Gambia move as the world is moving. We cannot have a ‘designated’ Vice President as the ‘survivor’, therefore appoint one now with minimum delay.
Yours in the service of the nation.
Essa Njie, sovereign and a concerned Gambian citizen.