Please allow me space in your widely read newspaper to convey my profoundest love and admiration of President Jammeh. Herewith my letter: “Kudos! kudos! kudos! Your Excellency, sir, under your iconic, able, wise, distinguished and dynamic leadership, could you please allow me once again to express and extend to you my profound gratitude, sincerity, high regards, love and happiness to re-echo your magnanimous policies and programmes envisaged in your vision 2016 rice self-sufficiency programme embraced by all rural dwellers and The Gambia as a whole. Your Excellency, sir, your just-concluded 2014 Dialogue With The People Tour is one of the most important trips you have undertaken since you assumed the mantle of leadership in 1994. It was a tour with a difference because it was designed to end the importation of rice in this country by 2016, and it was also a tour that was intended to create a proper foundation for The Gambia to be a food self-reliant basket for every household in this country. And we have no doubt about its achievability by the grace of the Almighty Allah. The 2014 dialogue was a clear testimony of your love, concern and patriotism for the nation and its building, as your inspirations and aspirations are manifested in your commendable and good leadership. Under your visionary and pragmatic leadership, we are proud of your numerous developments like road networks for easy movement and access, electricity, the list goes on. You actively persist in advocating for more and more prestigious advancement for the country with continuous good will and dedication of service to our dear mother land The Gambia. For 20 years, you have been taking with focus major steps to ensure that The Gambia is an advanced and a harmonious country. Yet even with such progress, you have a positive spillover effect of all your achievements in other countries over these past 20 years. This is why we are always proud of your leadership style and we will ever and ever remain proud of you all the way. And come 2016 elections, we shall massively vote for you (99%) and there is no doubt about that to recompense your continued hard work, duty, development plans and programmes for nation building. As peace-loving president, you have ensured relative security and stability as well as maintenance of peaceful co-existence among people. Your Excellency, sir, based on your thinking, Africans need to be mentally de-colonised by firmly sticking to our cultural values and beliefs as inherited from our fore-fathers. And some these means we should minimise eating food being imported to us many of which are unhealthy and unfit for human for consumption. For us Gambians, we have vast acres of land suitable for multiple mixed-farming and additional agricultural activities to our advantage. In light of that we should seize that opportunity and bring back the seemingly gone days of bumper harvests rain after rain we enjoyed up to the mid-nineties when locally grown crops such as millet, coos, sorghum, rice and even groundnuts which were abundant.
And this enabled us to mainly depend on our own produce as a means of survival which used to render the imported rice cheap or rot in the stores. In your zeal and effort in bringing back those memorable days, you have recommended Gambians to return to the land like before and during the time of our grand parents in order to carry out a moral obligation and escape the dangers associated with imported foodstuffs that could be gotten from some of these foods that gradually cripple our health and reduce our life spans.
Gglobalisation on Africa should be in the minds of all Africans and especially home-based Gambians. We need to be mentally de-colonised for further economic advancement of The Gambia and the African continent. I take this opportunity to urge both the private and public sectors to come and invest massively in this great vision 2016 rice self-sufficiency programme.
Mamudou A Jallow
“Veteran APRC militant”