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City of Banjul
Sunday, January 24, 2021

No ‘wakh wakheet’ please

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By Musa Bah

I read with dismay an interview you granted to some reporters in the newspapers in which you were asked as to whether you will run for a second time. In answer to that question, Mr President, you said that it depends on the Gambian people. This is disappointing!

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Your word should be your bond! Eight political entities came together and agreed that in order to oust Yahya Jammeh, they should choose one candidate to be the standard bearer to usher in a transitional government of three years. Then, after completing the Constitutional and Institutional Reforms, elections will be held in which that candidate [you, in this case] shall not contest.


This is very clearly spelt out in the Memorandum of Understanding that all these political entities signed. Now, the question of three or five years has merit on both sides of the argument because the Constitution stipulates five years for the presidential term. How you [all the signatories of the MoU] will untangle yourselves from that quagmire is something you will have to decide. What one cannot fathom is why you would even hint that if Gambians tell you to contest a second term you will do it.


Do you remember these words ‘So long as Gambians want me to rule them, I will rule this country for a billion years’! What crap! All these statements are just a way to entrench oneself in office. You are not – should not be – like Yahya Jammeh. You are a democrat and I hope that what glitters in that political seat will not beguile you into trying to overstay in power.


Look, there will always be people who will support you and who would want you to run for office again. Similarly, there will always be people who would want you to leave. Both parties will be Gambians, so who would you listen to? You must stick to your agreement and not seek office a second time.


With that, Mr President, the respect that people have for you will multiply manifold and you will ever remain in the good books of the people of the world. You will be remembered as one of the top statesmen of Africa. In fact, you may even win the Mo Ibrahim Award for Good Governance. Please, do not tarnish your image by doing what we call ‘wakh wakheet’.

Have a good day Mr President.

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