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Thursday, May 23, 2024

On the emerging new Senegal: Letter to Macky Sall

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By Momodou Sabally

Dear Macky,
It has been quite a while since I last wrote to you. My debut in the six-year correspondence series was published on the advent of your tenure as head of the great Republic of Senegal, in the 5 April 2012 issue of the The Standard newspaper.
Your emergence as leader of Senegal really got the better of my muse and please allow me sir to reproduce one of the few poems I did as part of this series. Perhaps the verses could serve as some form of barometer on your journey so far:

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Welcome Brothers

Our brothers have crossed over
Their clothes wet all over
From waves that hit seafarers
But their ‘Gal’ did not turn over
They now have a new ruler
Promising a new order
Striving together as brothers
A brand new Senegambia
Based on law and order
No snitching on each other
But prepared to be tough lovers
When the times call for that order
The frameworks must be broader
To support one another
During fair days and rough weather

Well in retrospect, the above verses have proved prophetic. But let’s leave that bit till later in this epistle.
The hard evidence on the ground speaks in your favour mon grand. Anytime I pass through Senegal on transit to some world city, my respect and admiration for your leadership goes a rung up! The latest being a bus ride to your magnificent new airport to fly to Kigali. I just woke up from a nap as the bus drove past the iconic new sports complex, the Dakar Arena and for a second, before I regained full consciousness, I thought I was looking at some modern sports complex in a major European city.

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Felicitations Macky! Indeed you have done well. What about the booming construction industry in your country and the new city you are building in your already beautiful city. Truly ‘sigil nga askan gui!’
To be honest, Votre Excellence, when I first heard about your national development blue print, the Plan Senegal Emergent, I scoffed, thinking aloud “there goes another day dream by an over-ambitious African president”. Yes I had every reason to be derisive of your dream because I have seen so many development blueprints in the continent that turned out to gather dust in state cupboards. Even back home here in Banjul our so-called Vision 2020 is still a far cry from reality despite the major successes of the past government in areas like education and infrastructure. But few years on I see a practical unfolding of your development plan in Senegal. I have every reason to believe that if granted the envisaged deux mandat you would deliver the goods par excellence! May the Good Lord decree it to be so.

The guns are not completely dead in the southern part of your country but it’s been quite a while since I last heard any news of a salvo being fired in Casamance. May Allah bless you with greater success in that region as well!
Coming closer home mon grand, the resolution of the recent political impasse in our country here would never have been a success without your leadership and tenacity. Indeed you also qualify for the lyrics of Thione Seck dedicated to former President Abdou Diouf ‘ebbal nga soldarr yi beh jamma del chi Banjul!’ Truly, you are the real numero dix; you are the Jules François Bocandé of Senegalese governance and politics! Truly the prediction in my poem, written six years ago, has come to pass, and the leadership that I envisaged for you beyond the borders of Senegal has also become a reality. You are an asset for Africa!
Verily, I am not a diviner nor do I possess occult powers to converse with the dead but I do believe that the founding father of your country, the late Leopold Sedar Senghor would be in good stead to endorse you and I believe if he were to be resurrected to vote in the upcoming election, he would vote for you for the fact that you are surely on track to deliver his vision of a better and greater Senegal that would be the pride of Africa. You may not be of the same political leaning with Senghor but in terms of vision, you are not different from his leaning for a better Senegal that is primed to lead an African revolution for the better.


Ainsi, Monsieur le President, moi Aussie, Je suis #AvecMacky

Bonne Chance!

Momodou Sabally is a former Presidential Affairs Minister. He is a poet, prolific author and motivational speaker. He is the author of the book, Conversations with Macky Sall, published, 2012.

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