Ebou GayeBy Ebou Gaye

As you celebrate your coup d’état of 22nd July 1994 misnomered revolution, I deem it fitting and timely to- once again- remind you of some of your innumerable promises which are yet to be fulfilled,

In case you have forgotten,

Due to your tight schedule,

In spite of the notion harboured by those you have hypnotized and brainwashed,

That you are superhuman

You have made too many pronouncements since you mounted power through that putsch,

For which reasons observers describe you as controversial, unpredictable, untrustworthy….

 

Have you forgotten?

You complained upon assuming office that your predecessor overstayed in power,

Contending that even 10 years in power is too long a time,

Vowing that no one would be allowed to stay in power in your country for more than 10 years from then

But you blatantly and doggedly refuse to have presidential term-limit enshrined in the constitution of your country as recommended by the Consultative Committee you set up to look into matters cancel to the transition from military to civilian rule,

Saying repeatedly, plainly and publicly that neither election nor coup d’état will remove you from power,

And that those vying to succeed you should wait patiently like a vulture for 400 years,

Giving the impression of invulnerability and invincibility

You however lack the courage to organize free and fair elections and flatly reject the idea of providing a level playing field for elections as demanded by the opposition and recommended by the international community,

And keep tightening your security by accumulating heavy, dangerous weapons,

Buying the loyalty of gullible members of the armed and security forces by granting them short-term privileges,

Eliminating those among them you perceive to be a threat to your security and existence as a leader by executing them or sentencing them to life imprisonment,

And pitting them against each other by ordering them to arrest, detain, torture or butcher each other,

With the aim of avoiding coup d’état

You call yourself Dictator for Development in your attempt to fool your compatriots,

Claiming that democracy is an illusion,

Accusing Western democratic countries of extreme racism and xenophobia

But you have ironically bought a mansion at an exorbitant price in a Western democratic country and sent your family to stay there,

In addition to doing your utmost best to secure citizenship for them in that country without avail,

And hire lobbyists from the same country with colossal sums of money

You try to give the impression that you are indispensable,

Pretending to be the only patriotic citizen of your country,

And stifle dissent using all means you consider necessary,

Regardless of the ramifications

Your statements and deeds are in sharp contrast

They have amply proven your selfishness, greed, grudge and malice

I treat your statement of intent as a hyperbolic one,

Because you are mortal and cannot live on earth for 400 years

But I would like to state without hesitation,

That there is every indication that you are obstinately determined to overstay your welcome and perpetuate yourself in power at all cost

Do you think you can fool us with your bluffs and make us believe credulously that you fear neither ballot nor bullet despite your apparent reluctance to play by the electoral rules and your numerous precautionary security measures?

If you really believe that democracy is not an ideal system of government and that Western democratic counties are too racist and xenophobic as you portray them, how come you trust such countries to the extent of purchasing an expensive property there, allowing your loved ones to reside there and employing their citizens as lobbyists with exceedingly-hefty salaries?

What makes you cherish the illusion that you are the only one capable of leading your country?

Are you a special breed?

Did you achieve anything extraordinary before you came to power that none of your compatriots ever achieved?

What supports your pretence that you are the only patriotic citizen of your country?

Did you do anything good for your country before coming to power that no other citizen ever did?

Why are you too hostile to your opponents and always eager to victimize or eliminate them?

 

Have you forgotten?

You adopted the catchphrase “transparency, accountability and probity”,

Chanting the slogan loudly and monotonously at every opportune moment,

And later set up Commissions of Enquiry to investigate your predecessor and members of his regime,

Saying that you wanted to recover all the money and properties you claimed they stole while in office,

And promised to present the money and properties recovered to your compatriots at the end of the exercise and ask them how they wanted the “loot” to be used

But we haven’t heard anything on the matter from you since then

A prominent, popular, vocal and brave minister of the former regime has on several occasions challenged you to publish the report of the commissions for the world to judge but you remain mute

You told us that you didn’t seize power to enrich yourself,

But later boasted of your riches saying publicly that your grandchildren will never be poor

Why haven’t you published the report for the sake of transparency, accountability and probity?

Is it that you haven’t recovered anything?

Is it that you have re-looted the loot?

Is it that you haven’t found anything implicating or incriminating?

Was the setting up of the Commissions of Enquiry not a mere pretext to justify your coup or enviously and begrudgingly witch hunt members of the former regime as observers have cogently and convincingly argued?

Given the fact that you were as poor as a church mouse when you came to power and that you now behave as if you are richer than the state which you have overshadowed, do you consider it morally justifiable to punish members of the former regime or anyone else for corruption or embezzlement?

Why have you abandoned your motto “transparency, accountability and probity”?

How can you reconcile your claim of not aspiring to be rich and your brag of having amassed enough wealth to cater for the needs of your grandchildren?

 

Have you forgotten?

You unreservedly condemned sycophancy, praise-singing and flamboyant lifestyle at the beginning of your reign,

Claiming that they characterized society and government when your predecessor was in power,

Expressing your resolve and determination to bring “sanity”

You thus summoned, assembled, castigated and shamed griots whose only “crime” was playing their socio-cultural roles,

Only to turn round and surround yourself with sycophants and flatterers who eulogize, aggrandize, glorify and mystify you,

And cultivate the habit of dishing out huge amounts of money to musicians, filmmakers and writers who sing your praises and help you in your propaganda

You frequently organize lavish festivals and ceremonies,

Besides buying extremely-costly vehicles

If you are confident and sincere as you want to make us believe, why do you need the services of sycophants, spin doctors and praise-singers?

If you are compassionate and patriotic as you project yourself, why do you plunder and squander the meagre, direly-needed resources of the people you claimed you came to liberate and salvage?

Why have you adopted the very extravagant lifestyle you denounced earlier?

 

Have you forgotten?

You promised a thorough investigation after the gruesome, brutal murder of a minister who was serving in your government

Reports have it that you shed tears during your visit of condolence to the bereaved family,

Claiming that the deceased was a friend of yours

But we are yet to hear from you on the progress of the “investigation”,

And hence grow more and more impatient and suspicious of your implication or involvement in that horrendous murder

When are you going to shed light on that atrocious crime?

Have you really ordered an investigation to get to the bottom of the matter as promised?

If so, why allow the case file to gather dust in the drawers of the investigators?

If not, why have you chosen to let sleeping dogs lie?

How can you convince us that you have clear conscience about that heinous crime with your silence on the issue?

Were your tears genuine?

Weren’t they crocodile ones as alleged by many?

 

Have you forgotten?

You attempted to befriend the press during the early days of your coup,

Promising to co-operate with it,

Saying that journalists were free to criticize you where you went wrong

But your marriage with the press was short-lived

You hot-headedly waged a war against journalists,

Threatening to bury them six feet deep if they offend you,

And soon started persecuting them,

Lampooning them by calling them the “illegitimate sons of Africa”

Why this press-phobia and antagonistic attitude towards journalists?

Is it that you have something to hide?

Is it that you never go wrong?

Now that you have proven to be a nuisance, a menace and a disgrace to Africa by causing enormous damage, affliction and torment, do you maintain that journalists are the illegitimate sons of Africa?

If so, what sort of African son do you consider yourself to be?

Do you still believe that journalists are more undesirable elements than you are as you erroneously believed?

 

Have you forgotten?

You made an undertaking to electrify the whole of your country- even the rural areas,

Claiming that power outrage would soon be a thing-of-the-past,

After sprinkling “spiritual” liquid on newly-acquired generators

But we haven’t yet had adequate electricity supply in the urban areas,

Talk less of rural electrification which we now believe will only come as a miracle

What is wrong?

Are you not willing to fix the electricity problem?

Do you lack the ability?

Have your demons or jinn betrayed you?

 

Have you forgotten?

You announced the “discovery” of oil in your country long ago,

Brandishing a CD which you claimed contained information to that effect on your national TV,

Promising to commence drilling the oil immediately and use its proceeds to transform your country from a begging-nation to a major-donor one

But the noise of the supposed oil discovery subsided soon after it started

If you have started exploiting oil, how far have you gone?

How do you utilize the proceeds?

Why were you in a hurry to make the announcement of the “discovery”?

Was that a political gimmick?

 

Have you forgotten?

You gave a pledge to build a state-of-the-art railway linking the capital of your country to the most distant town,

And provide high-speed trains to transport people and goods

But nothing has been said on the project since then

I am privy to the information that the leader of a landlocked country approached you,

With the intention of embarking on a railway project,

To facilitate the transportation of goods to his country by using your ports,

As evidenced by the presence of that leader and his predecessor as high-profile guests during one of the anniversary celebrations of your coup,

Despite the fact that the latter was occupying a very high position at the African Union at the time and was a renowned, reputable democrat unlike you,

Leading observers to wonder why he accepted your invitation to grace the occasion

But you pretended to be the originator of the project for political gain

Are you still engaged in feasibility studies?

Would you help clarify matters?

Why this long silence?

Have the authorities of that landlocked country decided to cancelled their plan?

 

Have you forgotten?

You made a promise to transform your country into an economic superpower during the celebrations marking your victory in the last presidential election,

Saying that you gave a three-year notice period to countries like Dubai and the United Arab Emirates,

Asserting that your country would outstrip or overtake them and no one would talk about them in terms of development any longer,

And that all the talk would be about the rapid, considerable development of your country

But you later said while addressing youths that you intended to develop your country to the maximum but lacked the means to do so,

And that you fervidly wished you could

Point of observation!

Dubai is not a country- not even the capital of a country,

But the name of an emirate and a city in the United Arab Emirates

Coming back to your lofty “goals”, I would say that it may be good to aim high but imprudent, unwise or foolhardy to make empty promises, build castles in the air or set unachievable goals

Have you now realized that you cannot transform your country into an economic superpower and develop it to surpass the United Arab Emirates or Dubai Emirate/City in three years?

What was the basis of your promise?

 

Have you forgotten?

You vowed to combat and curb drug peddling and consumption following the discovery of tons of hard drugs in your country

But you later instructed your rubberstamp National Assembly to decline the offer made by a foreign country to partner with your country to combat drug trafficking in its waters

The puppets among the members of the National Assembly obeyed blindly as usual,

Claiming that the proposed bilateral agreement did not favour your country,

Despite the alarmingly-high number of drug related cases reported in your country in recent years,

Pretending that they acted independently in the best interest of their country and people by rejecting the draft bilateral agreement

Your behaviour has led many people to believe that you have ulterior motive

I am not the least convinced that those members of the National Assembly acted freely or independently in the interest of their country and people as they wanted to fool us into believing

They feel that they owe you an obligation as their master and thus care more about your interest than that of the electorate

This is evidenced by their eagerness to ratify controversial bills or agreements that clearly seek to defend your personal interest or guarantee your security to the disadvantage of the populace

Chief among them is the bill granting blanket amnesty and immunity to the cruel killers of innocent, unarmed children in April 2000,

The bilateral agreement written in Spanish which was sent to the National Assembly for ratification unaccompanied by an English translation,

And the Information and Communication Act which was amended with the ultimate goal of entrenching and perpetuating you in power by intimidating and neutralizing your critics and opponents

Some members of the opposition at the National Assembly voiced their concern in all cases and cautioned their colleagues but to no avail

Do you have an axe to grind vis-à-vis the foreign policy of the country that offered to work with your country in the crusade against drug trafficking?

Why didn’t you seize the opportunity accorded to you if you truly want to see your country free of drugs as you claimed previously?

Why didn’t you accept the proposed partnership in the war on drugs if you don’t have vested interest in the drug business?

How can you debunk or dismiss the widespread allegation that you are involved in drug trafficking after turning down the offer?

 

You recently announced a food security agenda referred to as V-2016,

Promising to ensure food self-sufficiency by 2016,

Claiming that consumption of imported food is the main cause of the health problems of your compatriots,

Threatening to ban importation of rice soon,

With your sycophants praising you for the move as usual,

Saying that it is achievable,

Pledging their support to see to it that it is actualized

The idea of making your country self-sufficient in terms of food is good but I very much doubt its feasibility and tenability,

Based on the time frame and your tendency to fail promises as in the case of the aforementioned ones

Do you really believe that this lofty goal is attainable?

Is V-2016 not meant to prepare the ground for the 2016 presidential election, should that find you in office contrary to my wish?

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