Letters: Open letter to Dr Adama Barrow

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Mr President,

I don’t want to get you bored with a long letter this time around. Nevertheless, may I remind you of your honorary doctorate conferred on you sometime in December 2018 by the Regional Maritime University for distinguishing yourself as an excellent statesman, who has demonstrated a strong ”commitment to democracy, rule of law, social justice and respect for human rights, among others”.

Dr. Barrow I believe you were pleased upon receiving the said award in recognition of your service. However, I submit to you that your honorary doctorate might become a joke if the livelihood of the sovereign citizens is not improved as expected. In 2016 when President Jammeh was sent packing to Equatorial Guinea many young Gambians including myself thought that the era of corruption, nepotism, and abuse of office has come to an end.

The coming up with the Janneh Commission was another significant milestone to recover the stolen monies from Jammeh and his associates. Unfortunately, corruption under your leadership is not a secret to any citizen. I doubt if you read print and online media since most of their publications are centered on your leadership and administration.

Furthermore, I believe that you have been to Rwanda and see what your comrade Paul Kagame is doing for his people. Esiara (2017) argued that his administration is credited for a growing and stable economy, expanding by 45.6 percent from $5.77 billion in 2010 to $8.4 billion in 2016, and significantly reducing poverty levels. Analysts attribute the strong GDP growth to the country’s continued commitment to reforms, the creation of a good business environment, and implementing a strategy to raise productivity and services diversification.

John Magufuli commonly called the Bulldozer of Tanzania has also waged a war against corruption; he believes corruption is the major disease that affects development. He earned himself credibility and acclaim, both in and outside Tanzania, for his fight against corruption. Since assuming office in November 2015, he has been rebuilding lost trust with Western donors by firing public officials deemed to be incompetent and corrupt.

It shouldn’t surprise you that The Gambia scored 37 points out of 100 on the 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index reported by Transparency International. Corruption Index in the Gambia averaged 28.44 Points from 2003 until 2018, reaching an all-time high of 37 Points in 2018 and a record low of 19 Points in 2008. Yet, you also have the opportunity to make The Gambia the last place of hope on earth provided that you want to take this bold step of eradicating corruption starting from your own office.

Saidina Alieu Jarjou

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