By Nyang Njie
Like him or hate him but his credentials are stellar and colourful. He is the type of Gambian we want to see in public life. Mr. Manjang reminded me of CEO #JACK_WELCH of #GENERAL_ELECTRIC who is a classical depiction of what a corporate disruptor is all about. Muhammed took over a decimated operation with loose controls and cozy interference by the state in terms of the financial operations of the institution. Being a disruptor, Manjang came in with a view of shaking things down. The tremor of disruptive nature shook the core of the institution thereby upsetting the organisational culture. This was met with resistance and resentment because he changed the notion of business as usual.
Gambians are indeed utopian who live in a fools paradise because we want a better Gambia without going through the painstaking motions of change. Well this folly make us to be smart by half hence the static predicament we find ourselves in. The letter authored by Mr. Manjang refusing his appointment by the State to assume office at the Senegalo_Gambian Secretariat is a first from a Gambian. The weakest trait we have as a people is to say no and assess our competence to see if we are fit for purpose for the prescribed assignment. Well Mr. Manjang has set the bar high and I do hope that his actions become a precedent for many to follow. How often have our ministers and senior Government officials bounce back after being fired or relieved of their duties? The only way our system will change is if we change and as Shakespeare would have said “to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man”. The insincerity of the Gambian is mind boggling and troubling to say the least.
A New Gambia is premised on a new Gambian. Only way a new Gambian can emerge from the ashes of tyranny and mayhem is to cultivate a dignified Gambian. It is only through dignity that our self worth is preserved. Once again Mr. Manjang demonstrated leadership, dignity and professionalism in humbly bowing out without prejudice to the state. It’s a great loss for the interest of the state to have the likes of Manjang out of the public service. Then again, the self centred ego maniacs who abuse their authority and office to serve their personal interest are the clear enemies of the state.
It is suffice to say that Gambians are allergic to good people and we set the bar too low in public life hence the reason we have dim wits and sycophants in our public administration. People whose primary preoccupation is to have free perks such as Pajeros, fuel vouchers and allowances. What a shame to our collective conscience but we have no one to blame but our very selves for we have relegated the affairs of state to people who have no business running our state. The predicament we find ourselves has been clearly depicted by Plato who stated that “One of the penalties of refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors”. Gambians of good standing need to get up and be counted in our quest to build our dear nation. For far too long, we have outsourced our societal deliverables to others only to be disappointed with their inaction.
The transformative nature of Manjang clearly sets him apart from the rest. The public service is yet to see the last of Manjang and I can vividly see him running the exchequer (Ministry of Finance) some day soon. He doesn’t need the public service, the public service needs him. In order to be a public servant, one has to be selfless. Manjang possesses the attributes of a distinguished servant of the people. Those hounding him by abusing power to settle scores will be dealt with by karma, the law and the polity for their actions will only galvanise our collective resolve to once again regain our country to preserve our dignity and nationhood.
Personally, I thank Mr. Manjang for his service to his people especially the socially vulnerable pensioners who he diligently and gallantly fought for to preserve their investments and increase their value. Time will not only vindicate him but it will expose the minions and dim wits whose narrowly defined self interest have been put before the interest of the greater good.