One should stop saying, I am not interested in politics. If one is not interested in politics, politics has interest in you and there is nothing you can do about it for politics will affect you. Therefore all of us Gambians should now embrace politics at once. Whether we like it or not politics is the center of gravity of any country on earth. Everything and all things converge and emanate from the political center par excellence. Be a socialist, a communist, a liberal or a capitalist, the system of governance, is all about politics, about power, about laws, about your life.
Hence hating politics because of politician’s behaviors is not an excuse for not partaking in politics that decides and shapes your destiny by force.
When ex-president Yaya Jammeh’s bad political behavior affected each and every Gambian home regardless of tribe and religion all of us put aside our political, tribal and religious differences and came together as one people of the Gambia and did what we did to free ourselves at once. It is therefore an imperative not to let any single soldier or politician use the government system to foment military coup d’états or use political manipulations to entrench a dictatorial regime that affect all Gambians whether one likes it or not. Therefore political education and participation is a MUST involvement by all Gambians. Whether, you are an Aku, a Serer, a Sarahuleh, a Manjank, a Lebanese Gambian, a Haidara Sheriff, a Balanta a Bainungka, all of us should now become active in politics and join those that are already active in it such as the Mandinka, the Wolof and the Fula.
We should NEVER leave the political life of our country to an ethnic group, a regional group or a religious group.
The largest ethnic group in our country does not exist anymore in the Gambia and the last elections results came to prove this fact.
The intermarriages over the centuries and decades had ushered in fundamental blood changes in our DNA that made the ethnic identity of our country a thing of the past and produce one single TRIBE call the Gambian.
Make no mistake about this DNA reality and let not partisan politicians make us believe the contrary. If such was the case then the new breed of Gambians born out of intertribal marriages would be crazy to side with one tribe from Dad against another tribe from Mom. That is now OVER, we have all become one tribal Gambia, PERIOD.
It is therefore the role of politicians, elders and religious leaders to preach ONE Gambia, ONE people wherever we are whether privately and publicly.
In the past the Europeans where compose of different tribes like us and today no one will hear a European making reference of those tribes, they are British, French, Belgians, Germans, Russians and Americans and nothing else.
As one tribe we should now think and behave Global, then as Africans and finally as Gambians. If you apply the reverse theory herein, then Gambia will come first and Africa second and the World third and that is exactly what the Europeans countries above mentioned did in other to be World players in World affairs. By doing so the Europeans were able to own and share the rest of the world amongst themselves during the 1882 famous Berlin Conference at the detriment of tribally divided countries and continents the world over, from China to India to America to the Arabia and Africa.
Therefore tribal thinking and actions makes a country weak and easily subdued.
The faster we bury tribes into one countryman, the faster we will emerge as key players in Global matters, African matters and National matters.
Gambians and Africans in general should now leap forward from religious divisions, tribal politics and regionalism. Am a Banjulian, a Kombonka, a Jarranka, a Badibunka, a Niuminka, a Kiangka, a Makatinko, Niaminanko, although soft and jovial in nature should never be allowed ever to take precedence over national development agendas as one Gambia. Just like the cast systems inhibits our social fabrics to achieve social excellence so are religious identities, tribal identities and regional identities predicaments that can open doors for exploitations of these divisions for the benefits of those that will cunningly use it for their own benefits at the detriment of others, be they citizens or foreigners living amongst us or living far beyond our borders.
It is therefore imperative to inculcate political awareness and participation of all Gambians in our daily political lives so that our political leaders will become SERVANTS of the taxpayers and not Rulers and Kings of the taxpayers. We feed them, we pay their bills; they should therefore serve us and not rule us.
Only general political consciousness can make the politician’s careful thinkers, good planners and practitioners. Until then they will have Carte Blanche to maintain the status quo.
One Gambia, One People, One African, One World should be our credo and our leitmotif if we want to become world players in the concert of civilized nations with equal say in world matters.
Our land is rich with resources our people should be rich and respected the world over. Such was the African Dream of our Forefathers when they crafted Pan-Africanism in London in 1952.
Long Live New Gambia!
Written by Pa Njie Girigara.