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Adama Barrow ThisDay politics editor writes open note to The Gambian President

An open note has been penned by top political editor, Olawale Olaleye to the new Gambian President Adama Barrow.

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Olawale Olaleye play

Olawale Olaleye, Group Politics Editor, ThisDay Newspaper

(Kefytee)

The Group Politics editor for ThisDay Newspaper, Olawale Olaleye has written an open note to President Adama Barrow.

This is coming days after Barrow took over reins of power in The Gambia with the help of West African leaders.

Olaleye focused on the need for President Barrow to hit the ground and start working rather than pay attention to going after ex-President Yahya Jammeh and or his administration.

The political editor stressed that Barrow needs to show the world that as a former union leader, he has the ability to steer the country’s economy and polity to an enviable height after 22-years of decadence under Jammeh.

Read Olaleye’s note here:

Dear President Adama Barrow,

It is with great excitement that I write to you as the new democratically elected president of The Gambia, with the mandate that genuinely derived from the people, after weeks of needless and avoidable impasse, occasioned by your predecessor, Yahya Jammeh.

There is no gainsaying the fact that the election that brought you into office was by sheer providence, because if left at the mercy of man, you probably would have turned out another MKO Abiola of The Gambia. I bet you still recall the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election in Nigeria's political history and its consequences on the nation.

But God in his magnanimity intervened quickly in The Gambia's situation, contained the hydra-headed political menace and soon, peace returned to your country with you now as the new president of your promising nation.

Gambian president-elect Adama Barrow speaks during an interview in Banjul on December 12, 2016 play

Gambian president-elect Adama Barrow speaks during an interview in Banjul on December 12, 2016

(AFP/File)

 

I am aware of the understanding reportedly overseen by the ECOWAS leadership for peace to reign and for you to assume office and I would rather such a gentlemanly understanding stays as agreed. It only speaks to nothing but decent and honest leadership.

As a student of power and politics, I am not oblivious of the fact that the moment power changes hand, it is a different ball game altogether as you could choose to renege on all the understanding reached in the interest of peace. But that would be starting on a faltering ground.

Again, it speaks to wisdom to concentrate on the promises upon which you were elected and refrain from chasing the shadows of a man, assumed to have wasted 22 years in the life of The Gambia. This is crucial because if you go on to embrace this "stalking mentality" as do some presidents, who are often obsessed with their predecessors, you might end up a greater failure than Jammeh may be ajudged by history.

Constitutionally, sir, you have been elected for five years as president, albeit for the first term, as I have learnt. What this means, therefore, is that there isn't time for non-progressive probes of the infamous regime of 22 years. There is certainly little or nothing you can do to unravel the misery of 22 years in five years except you plan to travel similar highway to nowhere.

Thus, while a reconciliatory initiative is politically expedient in national interest to heal the wound of the past before it becomes a gangrene, deploying to work immediately is not negotiable.

There would not be excuses for not hitting the ground running let alone outright failure, because whether or not you like it, as a former union leader, you are also an establishment person and that must count, either for good or bad. The choice is yours.

To end this note, sir, need I remind you that your mandate transcends the shores of The Gambia? As a matter of fact and reality, it is one handed to you by the entire West African sub-region and therefore, excuses for failure are not and would not be tenable. Result is what the whole of the sub-region, the continent and the world await to see if you must justify their concerns as well as the timely and costly intervention.

Again, congratulations sir on your successful swearing-in and I pray God to grant you the sufficient wisdom to navigate this onerous and engaging task of rebuilding The Gambia.

Please accept my sincere regards to the people, president and government of The Gambia.

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