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My Letter to CIA: I will never work for you
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My Letter to CIA: I will never work for you

In my first letter to you, Oh, CIA, I told you to stay away from my business; to be and let me be. I told you that my support of President Jammeh is none of your business just as I respect your right to your own political views. Just in case you forget, I had earlier written to you when you attacked my writings in support of Government policy. I told you “I like what I write”; I would have re-phrased that to “I write what I like” but my journey with the pen has evolved to a point where the thing that does the writing is a visitor than takes temporary residence in the mass of matter that is my physical self and hence the writer is not the me your physical eyes see. Peace…

I used to be on your most-wanted list while as served as Secretary General, Minister of Presidential Affairs and the Civil Service of President Jammeh’s action-oriented and development-focused government. So I was flabbergasted when one of your agents approached me asking that I join your crusade. I first demurred when he approached me, just trying to be courteous but you could not get it; then I stated my unalloyed support for President Jammeh and his Government after my release from jail; still you could not get it. Now the Wolof’s say ‘ku xamut burr sai na, nyu neh la burr deh na’. I am saying to you, C.I.A: NO; I will neither work for you nor with you. In simple Mandinka, “Mbang!”

I know you raised some noise over my detention but then you do not understand my perspective over it all. I was on a journey destined by Allah (subhaanahu wa ta Aalaa) and I did humbly accept my situation/predicament in good faith. I followed due process to secure my release from detention, and indeed it was painful for my family and me but then at the end of the day, the system delivered when I persisted in following the due process. It was not your crocodile tears that freed me; it was a determined effort backed by faith that set me free by the Grace of Allah.

I hope you will now understand my stance when you started showing me options to escape from Banjul and I refused. Your calls for me to abscond into exile were so strong that at some point I decided to switch off my phone and even avoided checking my email for two weeks. I wanted to send you some verse to explain my position so I thought of Bob Marley’s lyrics “Rastman don’t work for the CIA” but then I remembered some grapevine stories about Bob’s issue with CIA so I thought that would not do. So I did some verse of my own and here it goes:

The Gambia is my country

I shall not sell it for dollars, paltry

With faith in Allah the Almighty

Loyalty to President and country

I shall remain to The Gambia ever true…

It was after sending a full letter including the above verses your way that you, you sent me yet another email insulting me for supporting President Jammeh and warning me to never write anything positive about him or The Gambia. You even asked me whether I did not praise him in my recent kindle release “Conversations with Macky Sall”; and you will find the answer to that question when you read the book. Your noise is deafening; it would sicken Lincoln if he were to live in our time; the wise old man would have surely pointed you toward some light from Sage of Concord: “If you can love me for what I am, we shall be happier. If you cannot, I will still seek to deserve that you should. I must be myself. I will not hide my tastes or aversions. I will so trust that what is deep is holy, that I will do strongly before the sun and moon whatever inly rejoices me and the heart appoints.”

Now, bloggers, this is my last and final letter and so I end with,

A Sonnet for Cyber Insurgents in America (C.I.A)

Even if you discard this today

It will ring in your brain some day

Brothers and sisters of the C.I.A

In your own way do you pray

Let me drum and dance my way

The donkey does each morning bray

Yet allows his neighbour to also pray

Gambia’s ours let’s relate in Allah’s way

To each their own, Surah Kaafiroon says

The aggressive fool deserves some grace

As Surah Furqaan teaches us to obey

Our diversity is beauty we should all hail

Thoughts differing is such a blessing to embrace

To each their way for The Gambia I pray

Yours Truly,

Momodou Sabally

The Gambia’s Pen

Momodou Sabally is the author of “Strum Your Kora: Conversations with Macky Sall” among other titles. This month’s edition of New African Magazines features a guest column by him, “Letter to Barack Obama”


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