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City of Banjul
Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Letter to Bob Keita

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Dear Bob.

I hope and pray that you are savouring every moment of what true freedom means and feeling deep within you the satisfaction of being surrounded, in very close proximity, by family and friends and thus reliving yet again, the true meaning of love.

My dear Bob, there is an Aku proverb that I want to share with you. The words are “when you yams white, na for cover ram”. What this means when given a direct translation is; when your yam is white, cover it.

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The true meaning of this proverb my dear brother and friend is that when you harvest the yam crop, you cut it open, if it is so good and healthy tub of yam, it will be mostly crystal white. However, what is expected of the owner of that yam tube is to take ashes or other preservation ingredients and cover the white part, for when you do so the tube of yam will never go bad.

Bob, for those of us seeing things from the outside and following your case from its commencement to its legal conclusion, we are certain that it is only the Almighty God that intervened in your matter and situation, for you were already condemned and destined to spend the rest of your life behind bars. Your faith in God, the cries and supplication of your amazing and loving mother, the relentless and tireless advocacy of your numerous friends and well-wishers who again were guided by God’s grace and mercy is what turned your situation around.

Social media is such a powerful tool that its effects cannot be downplayed or underestimated. You will agree that social media played a crucial role in worsening your case in its early beginnings. You will also acknowledge that social media also played a vital and important role in securing your vindication and eventual exoneration. Therefore logic will dictate that the same social media can lead you to a path of eventual doom if you allow the hype of the moment to cloud your judgement and darken your understanding.

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Be measured in your display and be cautious in your steps. The beings that wanted to see you extinct have not succeeded but it does not mean that they have given up trying. Evil has endurance and only by God’s grace and power are we saved from its clutches and long arms.

You were a sole individual that was temporarily denied his freedom. You had first hand experience of the magnitude of pain, sadness, distress, and a feeling of hopelessness that your mother, family and friends went through; it was deep. Therefore do not underestimate the same misery, pain, hardship and hurt that a mother, family, friends and their sympathizers are going through where it is not only and individual but a daughter, a son, and a nephew being denied temporarily for now, their freedom. If you think that the depth of pain is measurable and it will just dissipate in a moment, you would have deceived yourself.

Politics did not save you from the clutches of evil. It didn’t influence your freedom and you owe it nothing. The crowds that were beaten and tear-gased on your instance came from all segments of the political spectrum and they were united not by politics but by their ardent desire for upholding and fighting for a justice dispensation that was equitable, just truthful and unbiased.

Do not rest on your laurels and do not take anything for granted. The impact of the events of the past three years will have lasting effects on your two beautiful daughters and your duty as a father is to further protect and shield them to mitigate this possibility and not to further expose them.

Don’t allow any individual, regardless of their designation, to use your situation to advance their agendas or propel their growth and prominence. Be guided by wisdom and do not allow the moment to infiltrate your sound judgement.

My dearest brother Bob, I have believed in you from the very start and I stayed with you to the very end. I advocated for you as an individual I trust but my greatest service was not limited to you as a person but a deep rooted desire to influence a system that I felt was biased and retarded in its delivery. I advocated and will continue to fight for a system that will not abuse it’s powers nor serve as an existential threat to people that come to it for protection. Thus, you were a catalyst for change but the fight was bigger than your person.

Live life as you must, you deserve to enjoy and savour every ounce of it. However, whilst you go on about doing so, remember that you are in the midst of a unique and special breed of people and they are known in contemporary parlance as Gambians. The very voices that chanted Hallelujah are more than capable of shouting crucify. Therefore, beyond all things, be measured and guided by all you do because the battle has been won but the warrior lives on to fight another day.

“When you yams white, na for cover ram”.

From your brother and friend,

Melville Robertson Roberts Esq.

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