Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Open Letter to Lawyer Ousainou Darboe

Reference is drawn from the publication on the SMBC News Written by Sam Phatey on August 20, 2017. It is in that regards I write to register my total dissatisfaction as per the statement you made against the Jolas with the intention of portraying the noble Jola tribe at a bad viewpoint of light.

“Amongst those who are among the prominent Jolas in the country, Bojang is the only person with a clean record. The rest, he said, have committed human rights abuses, crimes against the state and rained havoc on the economy”. Lawyer Darboe.(

Your aforesaid statement above is mathematically calculated and wrongly executed which when not handled correctly might lead to tribal conflict.  As a political leader you need to possess good communication skills that will reunite people despite of their political ideology.

Labeling the Jolas as the only tribe that rained havoc in The Gambia is baseless on tantamount to tribal conflict. The question maybe that one asked ought to be did Jammeh only employed the Jolas during his 22years rule?

Who were the Ministers of Works, Health, Basic and Secondary, Higher Education Research Science and Technology, Tourism, Trade and the Secretary General and Head of Civil Service? Who were the Inspector General of Police, Director of GID and GFRS? Who were the Managing Directors of GRA and SSSHFC? Etc.

Just to name a few these figure shows a clear testimony that the Jolas were the list privileged people to occupy the key positions in the Jammeh’s lead administration.  The last time I checked there was no Jolas Minister in the Barrrow lead administration. This leadership style is undemocratic, unconstitutional because in true democratic setting citizens should be treated equally despite of their tribe, religion, gender, age, demographic and political ideology.

It is arguable that the negative effects of tribalism permeate all African countries. Millions have been killed, maimed or displaced in civil wars in sub-Sahara Africa over the past 50 years, mostly because of tribal agitation. Most of us are living witnesses to the carnage that occurred in Rwanda and is still going on in Somalia. These countries have fallen into the abyss mainly because of tribalism. (The Point, 2010).

Tribalism in Africa has been a major stumbling block to democracy as well as socio-economic development. It affects every sphere of development, from social economic, political to educational spheres. In political spheres, tribalism persists since it provides an avenue via which state goodies and favors trickle down from those in power to their tribesmen. Therefore, loyalty to tribe is given ever greater relevance than loyalty to the country.

Barrow is the presidents of the Republic of The Gambia in which none of the Jolas deny therefore his administration has to engage the Jolas and all other tribes for them to fell that yes they are recognized by the barrow lead administration. But if they are marginalized they will fell that they are not part and parcel of the new Gambia. The Gambia belongs to The Gambian’s both those home and abroad. In rebuilding a new Gambia we dream all regions need to be represented well and treated equally despite of political ideology. In a place where trust does not exist, love, respect and solidarity are also absent. The lack of trust destroys family, country, as well as social, cultural, and economic life.

Politics is over let’s heal the wounds and work together for a better Gambia. The real trick to good governance is to place the needs of the masses above everything else; to lead not just with words but with action. Actions define priorities. It’s the only way politicians can successfully bring us the long sought dividend of democracy.

“We have appointed a law and a practice for every one of you. Had God willed, He would have made you a single community, but He wanted to test you regarding what has come to you. So compete with each other in doing well. Every one of you will return to God and He will inform you regarding the things about which you differed.” (Surat al-Ma’ida, 48)

Note: I belong to both the Noble Mandinka and the Jola tribe, tribalism have no room in the smiling coast.   “People who sow seeds of discord by preaching tribalism, racism and religious misunderstanding should find another place to go.” Mwai Kinaki.

Finally I’m expressing my right of freedom of speech and expression” and my “right of academic freedom”, which are expressly guaranteed by Section 25 (1) (A) and Section 25(1) (B) respectively, of The Gambia’s 1997 Constitution.


Saidina Alieu Jarjou
Blogger/ Activist

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