Dr. Touray, I don’t know anything about your past political experience in the Gambia which if there has ever been any, does not, so far, reflect an impressive practical beginning on this new career you are starting, after hearing your announcement to contest in the upcoming December 2016 general election as an independent presidential candidate.
The little I know about you other than being a doctorate degree holder-have no clue on which discipline anyway-is your longtime devotion in actively campaigning to eradicate Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the Gambia which I think His Excellency President Jammeh in 2015 helped accelerate your Non-Government Organization’s (NGO’s) efforts to fulfill that objective by totally banning the practice in the country.
Realizing such a commendable goal, is what I think should have soon after delineated your next undertaking on the issue, factoring the vast experience and knowledge you supposedly acquired over the year from the campaign; in fact, I would have even advocated expanding the campaign beyond Gambia’s borders, into other parts of Africa where governments sincerely need the applicable expertise to persuade their indigenous populations into permanently discarding the primitive practice. You could have also written an enlightening book about it or combine your efforts with that of the young dynamic Gambian in the US Jaha Dukureh who started the same campaign in her own small way but now morphed it into a global spectacle. Sharing her harrowing experience worldwide about FGM and early child marriage on constant basis has increasingly drawn the attention of world leaders into sympathizing with her course that indeed has prompted her invitation all over the world to deliver speeches on the subject, including a special summit organized in June 2016 by the White House United States of Women in Washington DC.
Her personal experience on how as a young girl she was subjected to the painful and unnecessary mutilation and how she was eventually forced into a marriage when she was least prepared for “wifehood” or “motherhood” and how she later found the courage and determination to stand up against what she realized was gross infringement on her basic human right as a woman and child, effectively cast a broader perspective over the primitive cultural practice that has nothing to do with politics.
Mrs. Jaha has even recently started advocating for plastic surgery to reconstruct circumcised genitals of women interested in the correction which she admitted doing successfully herself.
I think you could have equally shared your personal involvement Doctor, as a circumcised woman and that of everybody you have interacted with over the years, willing to share their experience in a book marketable with the help of international or humanitarian organizations, governments and book distributors all over the world. It could have been one of its kind and would have probably required you to be traveling around the world explaining the content of the book in schools, in communities to governments and of course women organizations.
But instead, you got completely derailed from your longtime passion and got sucked into a political gamble that already appear to catch you flatfooted.
Of course, I believe you were coerced into this risky political escapade when you came to the USA a couple of months ago on the invitation of a so-called human rights organization, composed of mainly hardline Gambian dissidents wishing nothing virtuous to the Gambia. You should have been wary of such invitation when you realized that it had nothing to do with your course concerning women’s rights or FGM.
I later watched the video footage of that meeting you had had with them where they initially tried to entice you into committing yourself to run for president against the APRC government in December 2016. Unless you were playing the sense of the dramatic, it appeared you declined the offer, although I could sense the oddity in your tolerance of the unorthodox language and spirit at which the meeting was conducted.
Listening through your entire deliberation with nothing indicating your next life’s plan after the banning of FGM in The Gambia that obviously rendered your NGO useless and unsustainable, was a cardinal signal of your availability and willingness to be seduced into swallowing the bait of these crooks.
If you had, that day, come up with a progressive follow-up program on your anti-FGM promotion rather than slobbering over every derogatory statement uttered against President Jammeh and his government, the troublemakers would not have remotely conceive the idea of the suggestion.
In other words, you showed them your interest in going political and they pushed you into the arena with their seditious agenda and most likely packaged it with a promise to fund you from the chicken change they often collect to sponsor low-IQ Gambian politicians. We have witnessed them sponsor stubborn or reckless people straight to their graves or jail.
I will therefore emphasize that when you deviated from talking about the FGM campaign you are best known for, and sat there absorbing the same hateful garbage from these desperate agitators like a sponge in water, you also in essence opened yourself up for the difficult task.
Obviously, when they said that President Jammeh is destroying the Gambia and you know that there was no truth in such statement, your failure to challenge them on it was as good as acknowledging that invention. At that point it was evident to them that getting you to fight their battle or revenge their setbacks in Gambia was a done deal.
They then continued to feed you with more of the negative political statements expected to be regurgitated in your rallies or meetings, including the baseless accusation that President Jammeh was causing the migration problem in Africa and was partly responsible for the mass drowning of Gambian youth in the Mediterranean Sea who no longer could withstand the hardship in the country. Their standard baloney repeated every day.
As a PhD holder I was disappointed with you for not knowing better. You may not care about the truth but for your information, President Jammeh was the first and only head of state in the whole wide world who during the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in September 2014, raised the alarming predicament of African migrants in particular dying on the shorelines of Europe in their effort to rightfully cross into that continent. He had in that speech pointed to the delegates how the west had exploited and destabilized the entire world since the dawn of history, by fermenting and waging wars that the UN now agree has hugely contributed in forcibly displacing roughly 65 million people in the world including 21 million refugees, 3 million asylum-seekers and over 40 million internally displaced persons. How a levelheaded PhD holder could subscribe to the dumb allegation that few migrant Gambians in that colossal figure is hinged on bad political policies in the Gambia is utterly mindboggling.
Nevertheless, seven months after that 69th UNGA, European foreign ministers for the first time admitted their countries’ guilt in delaying rescue missions on migrant boats in the high seas sending distress signals that had resulted in several deaths. The inhumane gesture was purposely to discourage or stop the migrations though without success. Much blame is now directed to the Chinese for manufacturing the inflatable-sea-unworthy-rubber dinghies used by human smugglers making billions of dollars from the racket. Although nobody is questioning where the banks keeping those billions of dollars are located. For all I know, they sure are not banks operating in Africa.
And whereas the world’s attention is focused on how to stabilize the middle east to curb the migration problem, President Jammeh on the other hand has been passionately campaigning for a UN resolution for the reparation of the damage done in Africa through centuries of slavery and colonialism.
In fact, due to the serious efforts by leaders like President Jammeh, the UN on September 19, 2016 will be addressing the issue of large movements of refugees and migrants in a five-point political declaration slated for adoption.
For you to therefore carry the same garbage to your campaign platform is either disingenuousness or a distinct manifestation of your total ignorance of what is happening in the world today. lest you want to tell me that you are merely playing the role of the puppet you are expected to play by your foreign sponsors. Like I said, one claiming to earn a PhD title should know better or avoid being this thoughtless.
These losers have sponsored and encouraged violence in the country and have literally exhausted the pool of vulnerable victims targeted for incitement and deception; they still believe that violence is the only political option to change the Gambia government. The late Njagga Jagne and Lamin Sanneh fell for the deception and soon after their demise, we witnessed them coercing Solo Sandeng to start the other trouble they sponsored in the name of peaceful demonstration for electoral reform. They also paid the arsonists responsible for burning down the APRC building with some of them still boasting about its success in their radios while promising to incinerate the whole country before the “Tobaski” celebration.
Normal progressive Gambian political leaders are often denounced and insulted for renouncing all forms of violence.
But all of a sudden they found in you the political saint or savior that they think could defeat President Jammeh through peace or violence. Mark you, whichever path you may choose to adopt, I only would warn you to be mindful of engaging in activities posing a threat to the country’s national security. Because with every political game President Jammeh may tolerate, any activity intended to compromise the national security of the country is nothing he will condone.
Invariably Doctor, my observation is that being a PhD holder, or the former anti-FGM Czar in the country does not provide you the license to risk participating in political provocation. With only those credentials, I even find it hard to wrap my mind around where you can amass the votes as a very green independent candidate, to give you your desired victory. Plus, I don’t think the old parties with their experienced leaders will easily rally behind your independent party with no merit to show for the entitlement.
I have to be honest with you Doctor, other than the title before your name, I find it hard to believe that you carry the right mindset attributable to how a PhD degree holder should approach world affairs, let alone its political intricacies. Indeed, I have randomly interacted with many of your kind; PhD holders I have no respect for their intellectual depths or analytical perspectives that should indeed form the foundation of why they were conferred the gradation in the first place.
After all, I think the first thing you should have addressed in your announcement as a presidential contender was to unequivocally renounce all forms of political violence and clarify your unwillingness to work with any person or group, at home or abroad, advocating for it. You could have even denounced the December 30, 2014-armed attack in the country funded by these dissidents, or condemned the latest arson attack of the APRC headquarters building to send the right message that you are in it for peaceful reasons and not in any manner or form for the violence as your sponsors would want you to do.
Anyway your indicator last week was rather defiant. Playing a prerecorded video of these dissidents at that first convention to energize your support base was gross, to say the least.
Believe in me, these folks have been the same nuisances flattering Gullible-Gambian political leaders naive enough to be listening to them and thinking that they are somewhat important or credible in America or in the west, when they are not. You may have noticed some few useless white people among them, the likes of Jeffery Smith in the USA, often paraded as scarecrows in their congregations who signify nothing in the world but always pretend to mean something, and are quick to promise helping fix the problems of the Gambia after President Jammeh is removed.
I think you again fell for that nonsense or sounded like you actually did when you spoke on Friday about how your foreign policy would all be about “making Gambia great again” by getting closer to Western governments and taking advice from other foreign experts. That’s another talking point from the dissidents’ playbook.
Being silent about what you will do for the armed and security forces, left me wondering whether you are not after all in agreement of your foreign sponsors who want to see the formidable military establishment disbanded after President Jammeh is voted out of power.
By the way, do you really hope to gain anything from England after their xenophobic Brexit vote? Or get anything better from America with a Donald Trump presidency? As repulsive or remote as a Trump presidency may sound, millions of Americans firmly believe in voting for him which could incidentally happen. But even where he doesn’t win the large number of Americans in support of his candidature will continue to greatly influence every policy implemented by President Hillary Clinton’s government.
Without doubt business as we know it in this country will not change much. Meaning that nothing constructive will take place to remedy the chronic problems facing this country. Oh yes, these dissident friends of yours trying to deceive you about America or Europe being more democratic and better than the Gambia will not tell you about the endless problems we face here under the “greatest democracy” in the world. Racism is still prevalent and rampant everywhere; gun violence account for 30,000 people being shot to death every year, the majority being civilians, including women and children; on the average about 120 people commit suicide every day; 1 out of every 6 American women has been a victim of attempted or completed rape in their life; and guess what? Shooting and killing people in the streets have become accepted cultural condition because stopping violence requires taking the guns off the streets which will hurt the multibillion dollar industry behind the production and distribution. Furthermore, most communities, schools and work places are segregated. Black men and women are shot and killed by white police officers like dogs in incidents attributed to institutionalized racism. The list is inexhaustible. And that is just about America, ask how it goes with foreigners, black people, Africans or other races considered different from Aryans in Europe.
Now tell me Doctor, how many suicides do we have in the Gambia yearly? What about the murder rate? Or the rape rate? Do we live like them with millions of hungry homeless people sleeping in the streets while tons of excess food are thrown away every day?
The last time I was in the Gambia in 2015, I watched with amazement how safe and happy people lived together, without fear of being rob or shot.
In the City of Newark, New Jersey, your head could be blown to pieces for a dollar with the shooter never found. That’s how we live here Doctor. And I am afraid that is the kind of jungle life these undesirable elements want to bring to the smiling coast under the facade of political change. Let’s pray that the violence they are seeking will never happen. Weapon traffickers are waiting for the start of political violence to sell their merchandises to the highest bidders.
Let no one be fooled by these dissidents going around peddling the false notion that America or the West is heaven and Gambia is hell because of President Jammeh.
If you know these people well, you soon realize that they are addicted to their irrational habits. Most of them are against anything orderly in the world that could bring them happiness in their otherwise meaningless lives.
I would say avoid those in particular who tell you that they were throughout their adult lives anti-establishment starting from the PPP government and now continued with the APRC government.
Happiness is always just on the other side of the next thing that must be changed. The list of demands they keep for change as precondition for their contention is usually long enough to ensure that their goals are never reached. As soon as some of the conditioned are fulfilled, new unmet prerequisites take their places. Which in essence permanently delays happiness while perpetuating malcontent.
Please Doctor Isatou Touray, think twice before you continue this unwinnable political fight for these outlaws. Trust me President Jammeh will not only win the December 2016 general election, but will win it bigger than ever before.
But if you think that you can play the revenger for them just remember the Chinese adage that says: When planning for a revenge be sure to dig two graves.
I rest my case.
Long live Islamic Republic of The Gambia!
Long live the Gambian people!
Long live His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya A. J. J. Jammeh, Babili Mansa, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed and security forces.
New York City